Winter Home Maintenance Tips

American Home Shield recently released five important tips to remind homeowners to take preventative maintenance steps and other precautions to help keep their homes cozy — and safe — this winter.

Heating system and air filters – It is always a good idea to have heating systems professionally serviced every year. Also filters should be checked monthly and replaced if needed, and system exhaust vents should be inspected for rust, damage or any corrosion.

Seals and openings – Check to make sure your doors and windows are properly sealed so heat does not escape. Inspect caulking and weather stripping around openings for wear and tear, and replace if necessary.

Plumbing – Burst water pipes can cause expensive damage. Take time now to wrap outside pipes that might be exposed to extreme temperatures. Review the locations for the main water and fuel shut-off valves with all members of your household.

Water Heaters – Test your water heater’s pressure relief valve once a year to make sure it is not clogged and is working safely. This is also a good time to check the tank for leaks or corrosion, and to flush it per manufacturer’s instructions to eliminate sediment build-up. Inspect your water heater pipes to make sure they are properly insulated, and that no insulation has come loose.

Have a plan – When you own a home, you know that things are going to break down – and when it happens, it is important to know who to call. A home warranty is a great way to protect your budget against costly repairs, and save yourself the time and hassle of finding a qualified professional to get major systems and appliances up and running again.

For more information,, visit www.ahs.com.

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