December Maintenance Ideas

 

December brings the joyful holiday season as well as the not as anticipated cold rainy and sometimes icy weather. These home maintenance tips for December involve regular upkeep as well as some preparation for the deep winter.

 

 

  • Clean lint from clothes dryer vent and from the dryer drum, where the air is vented outdoors. Check out this video for a step by step instruction.
  • Change the HVAC filter to improve the air quality in your home.
  • Evaluate the amount of moisture in your home. Low moisture content in the air can cause excessive static electricity, dry coughs, and problems with your sinuses in the coldest parts of the winter. Consider purchasing a humidifier. (Old home remedy trick: hang a sheet or towel in the shower area and keep it wet and the shower curtain open. Moisture then evaporates and gets into the air. Swap out the sheet or towel at least every week. This trick may make the coldest, driest months more comfortable.)
  • Disconnect the garage door opener to lubricate hardware. The springs on the overhead doors should be adjusted by a qualified service technician.
  • Inspect and service your clothes dryer, cook top or stove, dishwasher, trash compactor, counter-top appliances, exhaust fans, etc. according to the manufacturers’ recommendations.
  • Make certain your fireplace is clean and in good working order.
  • Inspect toilets for any rocking motion.
  • Check inside bathroom vanities and kitchen sink cabinets for moisture and other signs of leaks. Carefully inspect pipes for condensation or slow drips. Repair the plumbing system if necessary.
  • Lubricate your bathroom exhaust fan to help it stay cooler and quieter.
  • Reverse direction of your ceiling fans.  Since hot air rises, fans should rotate clockwise to push the air down making your heating system more efficient.
  • Clean underside of range hood and clean or replace the filter.
  • Check for water damage near your skylight windows. During the summer they bring in light but during the winter they can bring in water from melted snow if there are leaks.
  • Moderate your indoor humidity during winter. If you have water condensation on your windows in winter, it may be that the house has too much humidity– not a problem with the windows.
  • Test the alarms on your carbon monoxide detectors and make sure they are working so they will alert you and protect your family from carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • A quick smoke detector cleaning and test can help keep your family safe.
  • Clean the gutters outside.
  • Clean and oil garden tools.
  • Fertilize your lawn and shrubs now so melting snow (when it comes) can feed the deeper roots.
  • Prune and mulch trees and shrubs.
  • Apply your pre-emergent weed killer/crabgrass preventative.

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