December home maintenance

Hello December! Your December To Do List!

We can't believe it's December already! Last month we focused on kitchen maintenance for holiday cooking. With the holidays and winter weather ahead of us, we decided to focus on preparing your home for holiday decorating and the chilly weather this month.

Photo Credit:  vinvisible11  Flickr via  Compfight   cc

Photo Credit: vinvisible11 Flickr via Compfight cc

1. Replace Furnace Filters

Furnace filters collect dust and debris. Dirty filters will make it difficult for the furnace to heat your home efficiently, causing it to work harder than it needs to - resulting in more energy consumption and a higher utility bill for you. This will also ensure clean air flow throughout your home, a longer lifespan for your heating system, and lower energy costs.

2. Check Attic Insulation

Some homes do not have much insulation in their attics. Check your attic if you have enough insulation. Insulation keeps your home warmer and conserves energy. Some utility companies offer rebates if you add insulation to your attic, so it would be good to consider if you do not have a lot of insulation in your attic. For more information on insulation, insulation types, and rebates, you can check ENERGY STAR's blog on DIY ADDING ATTIC INSULATION.

If you're interested in other ways to save money on energy bills, you can read our blog from October, GOOD ENERGY SAVING INVESTMENTS.

3. Test Holiday Lights and Decorations

Take out all your holiday decorations and lights from storage. Before putting up lights and decorations, make sure that they are working properly. This will save you a lot of time in the long run. Discard lights that do not work.

4. Check all GFCIs 

Since outlets will be in use more now compared to previous months (if you plan of putting up decorations), you should test all GFCIs (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) in your home. This is a simple task. Push the "test" button and the "reset" button should pop out. If this does not happen, then something may be wrong with your outlet. Call a licensed electrician to check your outlet.

5. Test Timers and Motion Sensors

Lots of traveling is done during the holiday season, make sure your timers and motion sensors are working properly so your Christmas lights and porch lights turn on at night. This will make it appear like you are home and will protect your home from people looking for empty homes to break into.

6. Add Weather Stripping and Door Sweeps Where Necessary

If there are any drafts by your doors or windows, then cold air is definitely seeping into your home, causing the warm air in your home to leave. You can prevent this by weather stripping your windows and placing door sweeps. The heat in your home will stay and this will be a big energy save so your heater won't work as hard to keep your home warm. Our blog post from earlier this fall, FALL REMODELING PROJECTS, discusses weather stripping and sealing if you need more information on this topic and other ways on how to get rid of drafts.

Completing this to do list will ensure you are ready to take on the holidays (your home at least)!

For some safety tips on keeping your home safe and warm this season, check out our previous blog 8 HEATING SAFETY TIPS.

Contact Kaplan Construction for your general contractor needs at (562) 495-0483 or via email at BOB@KAPLANCONSTRUCTION.COM.