This post and giveaway was sponsored by American Home Shield, all opinions are 100% my own
In most parts of the county, Alabama included, winter means it’s time to turn on the heat and with that comes winterizing the home. Home-improvement expert David Leon from home Made Simple (Oprah Winfrey Network) has several tips to keep you warm and toasty.
- Heating system and air filters – Keeping your heating system serviced every year will go a long way in making sure it’s up to the task at hand. Also check your air filters every month and change when needed.
- Seal the leaks – Making sure doors and windows are properly sealed will keep that warm air in and cold are out. Inspect caulking and weather stripping around openings for wear and tear and replace if necessary.
- Plumbing – Busted water pipes can cause damage which can be expensive. Check outside pipes and wrap them. Review the locations of main water and fuel shut-off valves with all members of the household. If you are having plumbing problems hire a Plumber South Edmonton, Alberta, to fix your pipes.
- Have a Plan – When you own a home you know things are going to break down and if you’re like me it’s usually when you need them the most. When it happens you need to know what to do or who to call. A home warranty is a great way to protect your budget against costly repairs as well as saving yourself the time and hassle of finding a qualified professional.
I’m going to interject a personal story here. After my dad died our heat went out in the middle of the night during a Midwest January winter. Mom looked in the phone book and called a company with 24 hour emergency service. They said our furnace was rusty and needed to be replaced and they just happened to have one left in their shop and the cost would be $3500 (this was 1991). I talked her into waiting until morning to call a friend who had their own HVAC business who helped me upgrade my furnace in Concord, ON. We snuggled under electric blankets the rest of the night and bright and early the next morning the friends sent someone over. The problem was diagnosed as a bad thermocouple which was a $25 fix. I also need to add, they installed our furnace a few years prior and noted that there was NO ruse on the inside.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2011, faulty and improperly used heating equipment accounted for more than 53,000 fires and $893 million in direct property damage as well as nearly 400 deaths nationwide. To help prevent heating system hazards you need to be aware of the following critical signs.
- Always be aware of gas odors. If you smell gas around your heating unit, leave the area and call your gas company IMMEDIATELY.
- Be sure your pilot light is burning a steady blue flame. If not, call your heating professional or gas company
- Take a close look at your exhaust fan for any rust, damage or deterioration. If any is noticed call a qualified professional and describe what you see to determine whether a repair is needed.
- Take extra care with space heaters. They should be plugged directly into a wall outlet and not an extension cord. Turn them off at night or when not at home. When used, always be sure space heaters are a safe distance from curtains and other flammable items.
For more information walk the helpful videos, hosted by David Leon, about a variety of home maintenance tips and home heating warning signs at www.YouTube.com/TheAHSTeam. American Home Shield also publishes the Home Matters Blog with tips and news on everything home.