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Winter Maintenance

Your Winter Checklist Could Be Incomplete If You Don’t Include These 3 Items

Thanks to the nature of life in the southern hemisphere, those of us that live in Oz have already put winter behind us, are enjoying spring, and looking forward to Christmas and the warm days that it brings.

But just because winter is done, that doesn’t mean we can’t think ahead to prepare for the next season. We’ve already got some things to put on your checklist for winter next year.

Store a Bag or Two of De-Icing Salt

Frozen PipeOne of the most inconvenient—and even risky—things that can happen during winter is for snow to fall, then melt, then, with a drop in temperature overnight, refreeze into ice on the ground.

It makes it tough to walk into, out of, or past a home ... even outdoor plumbing can become frozen. It can even cause traction problems for cars.

De-icing salt is one of the best ways to deal with this, or even light snowfall. Just sprinkle it around on the ground, and it will melt snow and ice and keep it that way. Even when the temperature dips below zero, that salt water won’t refreeze, so you keep your home’s access ways clear.

Check the Condition of Your Alarms

Smoke Alarm Check No matter what time of year it is, alarms are important for protecting you and your family from possible dangers. Most of the time that means ensuring you have a fire alarm that’s in good, working condition, but carbon monoxide alarms can also play an important role in home safety.

If you don’t have a carbon monoxide alarm, buy one. In many cases, new alarms combine both fire and carbon monoxide detection in a single unit. These alarms are especially important in winter months when we rely on heating systems.

A furnace can sometimes suffer from incomplete combustion, which means it still produces warm air but doesn’t burn up all the harmful gas, leaving leftover carbon monoxide. You can’t see it or smell it, but it can make you very sick—and even kill you eventually—if you don’t have an alarm to warn you that it’s building up in your home.

Inspect Your Insulation, Maintain Your Ventilation

Home Insulation A lot of people forget about their insulation, and just how important a role it plays in their energy bills. If you haven’t looked at your insulation in some time, get an inspection to make sure it’s still in good condition.

If the insulation in your home is very old, think about an upgrade to modern materials and get a bit more energy efficiency out of your home. This is especially true if you only have insulation in your roof. Whether it’s summer or winter, insulation can make a big difference in how much you pay for both heating and cooling.

With ventilation, it’s important to periodically inspect and maintain this vital component of your HVAC system. Make sure that your vents are clean, so that no contagion, such as mold, has infested the network and is sending spores into every room whenever air is circulated.

Make sure the vents are also clear, so you get good airflow that doesn’t make your furnace or AC work harder than it needs to. As long as you follow the things we’ve mentioned in this checklist then your winters in Sydney, NSW shouldn’t cause too big a jump in your heating bills when winter arrives.