December – this month brings the joys and celebrations of the holiday season, but also cold weather and harsh winter storms. And considering it’s only December 6, we’ve already had our share of weather extremes. This week in Iowa we had snow and tornadoes all in one week! Everyone is busy, so if you only have time to do five maintenance tasks this December, then here are the ones that that we suggest you do. Doing these home maintenance tasks will help keep your home safer and more energy efficient. Our top five lists includes:
- Conduct home computer maintenance
- Remember basic holiday safety tips like not leaving open flames when you’re not around and being sure your real Christmas tree is constantly watered.
- Have emergency supplies on hand
- Checking your programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat can save you up to $150 per year in energy costs, but statistics show that most people with programmable thermostats don’t get this benefit because they have not programmed them properly. So if you have not yet adjusted the winter settings for your programmable thermostat, you should take a minute now to update them. And if you are not sure (or don’t remember) how to do this, then you can usually find online the toll-free phone number for most manufacturers, who can walk you through how to do this. For those of you who don’t have a programmable thermostat, then December is a good time to consider getting one.
- Backflushing your water heater. And finally, with the weather getting colder outside during December, this means that your water heater has to work harder (since the water coming into your home will be colder). So December is a good month to remember to backflush your water heater, which will help it to maintain its energy efficiency and extend its useful life. Backflushing involves draining a few gallons of water from the bottom of your water heater. You need to be very CAREFUL doing this, as the water will be scalding hot. If you are unsure how to do this task, then you should hire a professional. To learn more click here.
As always, we’re always here to help you do a home maintenance inspection. Many people find it helpful to have us walk through a home to help you with a list of items whether just for basic home maintenance or to prepare a home for selling in the spring. Give us a call if you’d like more information. Thanks for Checking with Chuck!