Blog » On The Spot’s Home Winter Prep Checklist
Winter is just around the corner. Winterizing your home takes some planning and effort, but is an essential aspect of homeownership this time of year in Upstate New York. We often save the deep cleaning for the spring, but cleaning in the Fall to prepare our homes for Old Man Winter should be just as meticulous, if not more so. We are inside our homes for longer periods, without open windows for ventilation. The darkness descends early, but before you hunker down with cozy blankets and hot cocoa, you’ll want to tie up some loose ends and check some yearly maintenance tasks off your to-do list. To make your home as healthy, comfortable, and energy-efficient as possible this winter, follow our guide below:
Professional Duct Cleaning
If you are just getting your furnace going for the season, those air ducts are about to have their work cut out for them. If you're like most homeowners, you probably don't think much about your air ducts. But over time, normal operation can cause dust, dirt, and other contaminants to build up in your system's ductwork, causing your entire HVAC system to work harder - and costing you more money in energy bills. Air ducts have a habit of contributing to compromised indoor air quality if not regularly cleaned and maintained. On The Spot Cleaners will treat your ducts with an antimicrobial solution that helps to prevent the growth of mold, mildew, and other harmful contaminants. By removing all the allergens and other contaminants from your ductwork, you can help to reduce the number of allergic reactions that occur in your home. That's why it's important to have your ducts cleaned regularly, especially before winter, by a professional service to ensure total comfort in your home. You’ll breathe so much easier this winter.
You definitely do not want to find yourself scrambling to keep your family warm if your furnace fails on a below-freezing Upstate winter night. You really really don’t. So do yourself a big favor and 1. Change the filter and 2. Call your favorite HVAC company to ensure your furnace is up to snuff before the cold really sets in. Professionals will inspect, clean, and repair every working part of your furnace which will keep it working efficiently, effectively, and safely. This annual visit is the ultimate money saver - ensuring energy efficiency to keep energy bills in check and keeping your furnace in use for much longer. This in combination with professional duct cleaning, your home is going to have peak indoor air quality and warmth all winter long.
If you intend on using your fireplace at any time during the cold months, it is imperative you get your fireplace and chimney professionally cleaned before use. Buildup inside the chimney is flammable and can contribute to poor indoor air quality if left unchecked. Enjoy the warmth and glow and feelings of hygge, but do it safely after a professional chimney sweep!
Clear and Flush Your Gutters
Avoid ice damming on your roof by ensuring your gutters are clear and water can flow efficiently to your downspout. You can hire professionals to do this, or go the DIY route by securely setting up a ladder (with a spotter!), and get all leaves and debris out of all gutters. Check the flow by flushing some water via a hose and ensure water can freely flow to your downspouts. This will keep your roof safe from damage this winter, which will prevent water damage and mold growth inside your home. Doing so will also help keep the insulation intact to allow your furnace and air ducts to work optimally. In the event of water damage or mold growth due to roof damage, you know who to call!
Seal Windows and Doors
Drafts can really put a damper on things. But sealing up the seams with a caulk gun or some weather stripping is an easy, affordable, and relatively quick winter prep task that will pay dividends all winter long. With such fluctuations in temperature and humidity levels in New York State, the seals around our windows and doors become fragile and crack allowing the cold air in and the warm air out. You can also opt for storm windows and doors. Your energy bill and toasty family will thank you.
Change Ceiling Fans to Clockwise Direction
Did you know that your ceiling fans change direction? They should be going in a counterclockwise direction during the warm months and switched to clockwise in cooler months. This keeps your air flowing while pushing warm air down and moving throughout the room.
Check and Change Batteries
If you’ve driven by your local fire station in the past month or so, you’ve undoubtedly noticed their pleas to PLEASE change the batteries in all of your home’s smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Your windows are about to be sealed up and your furnace running, which means the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning gets exponentially higher. Go change them today.
Bonus Task: Assemble Emergency Kits
We’re ripe for lake effect winter storms, wind storms, and even ice storms in the Greater Rochester and Finger Lakes region of New York State. At some point during winter, being without power for a stretch of time is just what we come to expect around here. You can prepare your family and pets for such occasions with an emergency kit. Fill a plastic tub with flashlights, a first aid kit, medicines, candles, lighters or matches, batteries, water bottles, blankets, gloves, socks, and some non-perishable food items for humans and furry friends alike. Throw in a deck of cards to pass the time. Check and replenish your kit for each season and do yourself one better by keeping a kit (with cat litter too!) in each vehicle.
On the Spot Cleaners is a duct cleaning and mold remediation company with locations in Rochester and Canandaigua, NY. On The Spot Cleaners are experts in Duct Cleaning, Mold Remediation and Removal, Carpet Cleaning, and more, and we're hyper-focused on excellent service and quality. We care about our community and work hard to ensure our customers can experience the healthiest indoor air quality possible. Take extra good care of your family this winter with duct cleaning from us. We know you’ll be glad you did.