It’s a snowy Valentine’s Day in Denver! Here’s a big heart to all of you cuddling by the fire today.
Denver’s recent warm weather may have lulled you into a false sense of security when it comes to maintaining your home for winter, but now that the temperatures have dropped again, you need to make sure a few basics are taken care of.
Perhaps the most important winter maintenance measure you can take is inspecting your heating system. The leading cause of home fires are related to heating systems, so this is critical.
Check for cracks and corrosion, especially in the heat exchanger where the air circulates through the combustion chamber. Carbon monoxide (CO) could leak out and be drawn into your home if this the chamber isn’t working properly. If you think this is happening, call a professional to test for the gas and install a carbon monoxide detector in your house.
Use a vacuum to clean dust and spider webs from the furnace and remove the filter. You may want to consider installing an electric air cleaner rather than replacing the filter. The cleaner uses static electricity to keep out more particles and is very energy efficient.
If you have a fireplace, have the chimney cleaned by a professional before lighting many more fires. Chimneys should be checked and cleaned annually.
If you haven’t done so already, clean your gutters on the next nice weekend day. A backed-up gutter prevents water from draining, and sitting water can leak into the walls of a home or get under the shingles.
Be sure to protect your pipes. Those located in attics, crawl spaces, basements and near outer walls can be susceptible to freezing, so if the forecast calls for unusually cold temperatures, let water drip from the faucets overnight and keep cabinet doors open to let warm air circulate blow the sinks.
Check the insulation in both the attic and the basement. Proper insulation reduces heating costs and also can keep water from damaging your home.
Colorado’s generally mild winter climate can be deceiving, but if you keep up with maintaining your home, you shouldn’t have any problems.
Enjoy your safe and warm home, and your Valentine’s Day!
Gretchen Rosenberg represents buyers and sellers in Denver’s fast paced and changing real estate market. For information on homes for sale, go to GretchenRosenberg.com.