With the holidays fast approaching, the topics of our conversations have changed like the seasons.  Instead of talking about summer vacations and BBQ’s, our thoughts are swiftly transitioning to holiday plans and gift giving ideas. 

While at Miller Building Inspections we love the holidays as much as you do, there are some other important things to do before losing your mind to the holiday madness.  And they involve taking care of what is likely the largest asset of your life….your home!

  1. Change Furnace Filters.  While it’s not as exciting as the hunt for the perfect gift for Aunt Susie, changing your furnace filter is a quick and inexpensive maintenance item that pays big rewards.  Furnace filters are designed to catch dust and pollen from the air.  When they aren’t changed on a regular basis, the efficiency of your furnace (not to mention your air quality) is drastically reduced. 
  2. Drain Hose Bibs. I don’t have to look far to find an example of a homeowner who got caught up in the frenzy of life and forgot to drain and shut off an outside hose bib. My son-in-law made that same mistake just last year.  When the first days of spring hit, they were blessed with a waterfall of water in their basement.
  3. Sump pump. If you have a sump pump with outside drainage, make sure it falls away from the house to prevent freeze ups during the winter months. 
  4. Ceiling Fans. An often forgotten winter maintenance item involves changing the direction of ceiling fans.  During the summer months they should be set to push the cooler air down but in the winter you want to reverse them to push the warm air up.
  5. Furnace Humidifiers. Many of the new high efficiency furnaces have an in-line humidifier to put moisture into the air.  While these units drastically improve the comfort of your home, they do add maintenance.  The humidifier elements should have been shut down during the summer months to prevent the A Coil from freezing up.  Now that winter is here, it’s time to turn the humidifier element back on so you gain the benefit.
  6. Christmas lights. In Central Illinois, putting up outdoor lights can be a “chilling” experience.  And while I know you’re ready to get back inside and get warm, take time to inspect all outdoor power cords before using.  While they might have been fine when you put them away, things change.  Over time the outside casing can become brittle and begin to break.  Depending on where they were stored, it’s even possible mice may have found them interesting to nibble on.  If you notice any cracks along the cord and specifically at the plug connection, it’s time to retire that cord and buy a new one.

Before the official holiday bustle starts, do yourself a favor and handle these quick home maintenance items. 

And if you or someone you know is looking to find a new home before the holidays, you might also appreciate our blog highlighting the “Top Questions to ask a Home Inspector!”