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    4 Easy Ways to Keep your Home Protected During Winter

    Whether you are thinking about selling your home, just moved into a new home, or if you have been in your home for awhile and plan on staying, it is important to get your home ready for winter as temperatures begin to drop in order to prevent possible damage to your home. Michele Harmon Team wants to ensure your home is prepared for winter with these 4 maintenance tips.

    Check your Heat Sources

    It is important to make sure your heater and fireplace are both functioning properly. You do not want to be left without heat once the cold weather moves in. 

    According to SFGate.com, to check your furnace, turn off the circuit breaker at the main electrical panel that supplies power to your furnace. Use a non-contact circuit tester device to verify that power has been effectively removed from the appliance. Then, open the furnace filter door by unscrewing the screws and inspect both sides of the furnace filter. If the filter is dirty, be sure to replace it. If you have a reusable filter, wash it with water and mild detergent and allow it to dry completely before reinserting. Remove any furniture or items placed against each air register to allow the air to flow freely for the best heating process. Turn on the circuit breaker at the main electrical panel and turn on your heat at the thermostat. Allow the heat to run for about 10 minutes and observe the thermostat. If it seems to be working fine, you are all set! If not, feel free to give Michele Harmon Team a call for a great Heating Repair Service referral. If you need more information on how to check your furnace, click here.

    According to Houselogic.com, when checking your fireplace, examine the firebox and look for any cracks, gaps, or signs of wear in the lining of the firebox. Houselogic says, If the lining has deteriorated to the point that the steel body underneath is visible, you most likely will need to have it professionally repaired to prevent permanent damage. You will also want to look for telltale smoke stains. If you see stains on the ceiling, smoke could be escaping from a gap between the hearth and the firebox. This may be caused by the hearth settling and it is not an unusual occurrence in older homes. When the settling occurs, sparks that fall into the gap can send up smoking, acting as a secondary chimney. Lastly, one of the most important steps to ensure your fireplace is safe to use, is to check your chimney. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends an annual inspection of your chimney by a qualified professional.Click here to learn more about how to make sure your fireplace is safe.  If you need help finding a reputable chimney inspector, ask Michele Harmon Team for help! We have many relationships with several different people in the home business.

    Check Your Smoke Detector

    According to the United States Fire Administration, heating causes about 27% of structural fires during the winter. Make sure your batteries are working effectively and be sure to check the date of manufacture on your smoke detector. Smoke alarms should be replaced 10 years from the date of manufacture.

    Clean Your Gutters

    In Houston, snow is rare. However, leaves tend to fall during the winter and they may cause your gutters to become clogged. If your gutters are clogged, they trap water and that water freezes. In the winter, when the temperature drops and rises again, that water is expanding and contracting every few days. This can cause your gutters to bend ,warp, and crack overtime. Cracked gutters will leave you with a big gutter replacement job. Save time and money by ensuring your gutters are clean.

    Protect Your Pipes

    Just like gutters, water in pipes can freeze and expand, causing serious damage to pipes. If your pipes were to burst, you could find your bathroom flooded or your bathroom cabinets infested with mold. To protect your pipes, insulate pipe areas including cabinet spaces. Insulation will help keep warm air inside  and prevent freezing. If you go out of town, set your thermostat to at least 55 degrees. At this temperature, your pipes will not freeze and you also will not be heating a house no one is using. For more information on checking your gutters and pipes, click here.

     

    Keep your home protected this winter and as always, if you are thinking about buying or selling, give Michele Harmon Team a call at 713-818-1330! We are always here to help answer any questions you may have.

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