December is a month for celebrations and spending time with family. Many people are very busy this month with parties and last minute shopping while others avoid all of the commotion and are at home enjoying time off from work. If you have finished all of your holiday shopping and you have some extra time on your hands, here are some things you can do around the house.
If an extremely cold winter is predicted and you live in an older, not-so-well-insulated house, leave the sink and bathtub faucets on at a slow trickle to keep pipes from freezing. This is especially important if the heat is turned off in the house for any period of time. You should also check inside bathroom vanities and kitchen sink cabinets for moisture and other signs of leaks. Carefully inspect pipes for condensation or slow drips. If you find water damage, repair the plumbing system as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
Take the time to make an appointment for your furnace’s annual checkup. Without this yearly cleaning and inspection, a system can wear itself out quickly, pump deadly carbon monoxide into your home, or simply stop working. Dirt is the biggest enemy of your furnace. It can waste fuel and drastically lower efficiency .The furnace filter should be replaced or cleaned at the beginning of the heating season and about once a month during periods of continuous use. To check the filter, take it out and hold it up to the light. If it looks clogged, replace it with a new filter of the same type and size regardless of the length of time it has been used.
With the possibility of bad weather in winter, it is a good time to evaluate your home’s emergency kit. Make sure you have a battery-powered radio, a first-aid kit, blankets, several gallons of fresh water, tools for shutting off gas and water lines, candles and matches, flashlights and batteries. Check all your batteries, they can drain with time even if they haven’t been used. If you live in an area with extremely cold winters, make sure you have a backup heat supply. If you live in hurricane prone area, keep a supply of plywood for protecting windows. Residents of earthquake vulnerable areas should have water and food to last several days. It is important to be prepared should disaster strike. Make sure everyone in your house knows where the emergency kit is located should they need to use it.
When you are through, sit back, relax and enjoy the holidays with family and friends. You deserve it. Happy holidays and bring on the new year!
We are Atlanta’s premier water and fire restoration experts specializing in water damage, water restoration, water extraction, fire damage, smoke damage, mold remediation and more. Serving metro Atlanta and surrounding cities since 1998. For more home improvement and safety tips follow us on Twitter: @premierdrying, Facebook or Google+.