When you purchase real estate in Vancouver, Washington, you’re buying into a thriving community where you will likely put down long-lasting roots. To upkeep your property, you’ll want to perform routine seasonal maintenance so that it’s always in peak condition. Here are a few tips and tricks for key ways to protect your home this winter.
Double-check your heating system
Vancouver sits close to higher elevations where winter sports are popular. This factor alone is a compelling reason to speak with a Vancouver realtor today. However, the cold weather does necessitate taking some extra care. The first of these precautions is double-checking your heating system.
Most heating systems can last from 12 to 15 years, but many begin losing efficiency at 10. It is recommended that you have an HVAC professional service your system before the cold temps hit. You’ll be glad you did to avoid discovering your furnace is not working on a cold winter day!
Inspect and clean your chimney and fireplace
Before you start building those cozy roaring fires to fend off the frigid air, have your fireplace cleaned and inspected. A chimney sweep is a way to ensure your fireplace is safe to use, and it will bring to light any maintenance problems. In addition, consider preordering or chopping your own firewood before the cold settles.
Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
It is important to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, as winter is the time of year most house fires occur. During the cold months, we use furnaces and build fires frequently with houses closed off tightly from the outdoors. This can lead to internal fires or carbon monoxide poisoning. So, it is prudent to check your detectors before the cold sets in to make sure they are operating properly.
Reverse any ceiling fans
Many Vancouver homes will have ceiling fans built with a reverse switch. It is recommended that you activate the reverse switch on your ceiling fans. Running the fan’s blades in a clockwise direction will create an updraft and push heat down from the ceiling into the room.
Seal windows and door frames
Regular wear on your home occurs throughout the year. This may result in gaps between the home’s siding and window or door frames. Experts say that if these gaps are more than the width of a nickel, it’s time to reapply a layer of caulk. Mind your gaps and fill them in before cold weather can break through them, thereby increasing your heating costs and preventing you from having a cozy night.
Test the sump pump
You’ll want to make sure you test your sump pump, and any homeowner would agree that it is imperative that you know whether or not a sump pump will make it through the winter before there is an issue.
To do this, pour several gallons of water into the pit and watch for the pump to turn on. Optimally, this should be done every few months, especially after the hot summer months. Most sump pumps last about 10 years, but it is still wise to schedule regular maintenance.
Restock winter-related tools
Photo courtesy of Business Insider
Wouldn’t you rather have a snow shovel ready than to have your car stuck in the snow in your driveway before you headed off to work? What if your property has icy steps leading toward the front door? You’ll need ice melt. It is for reasons like this that experts advise homeowners to restock winter essentials before they are needed.
Get your pipes ready
Water pipes are prone to freezing in cold weather, and bursting pipes from the cold can cause expensive damage repairs. There are a couple of things you can do to mitigate these risks.
First, insulate exposed piping with, at minimum, insulated foam sleeves. To further fend off freezing, wrap the exposed pipes with electrical heating tape and then cover them with an insulated sleeve. Second, drain all exterior faucet water supplies.
Winters in the beautiful city of Vancouver, Washington, can be frigid, but utilizing these winter tips can help prepare your home so you can enjoy its cozy warmth and keep your family safe and comfortable until spring. From reapplying caulking to testing your sump pump, there are a number of winterization steps you can take in advance to be ready for the cold months so you can enjoy the area’s winter sports, hiking, and the Pacific Northwest lifestyle that Vancouver has to offer.
If you’re ready to speak with a Vancouver realtor today to discuss your next home, reach out to David Merrick for expert guidance.