The weather outside might soon be frightful, and a fire might be delightful but chimneys and furnaces are especially prone to malfunction during the hectic holiday season.
The holidays can be as stressful as they are joyous, especially if an unexpected home repair emergency occurs, said Amy Matthews, home improvement expert for HomeAdvisor.com and DIY Network host. HomeAdvisor provides support for unexpected home emergencies with their Home911 app, a great free tool to find local and available service professionals no matter the hour or the holiday.
Matthews offers these tips to help homeowners prepare their homes for the winter season.
Chimney and fireplace. A crackling fire is charming during the holidays, but dirty chimneys can be extremely dangerous and can cause a fire in the home. A professional should inspect the fireplace to ensure the chimney is clean before lighting the first fire of the season. A money-saving tip is to install a glass enclosure or glass doors on the opening of the fireplace to reduce the amount of hot air that escapes from the house.
Furnace. Keeping a clean filter in the furnace through the winter is essential to maximizing its efficiency. Dirty filters make the furnace work harder and may even damage it. It is also best to hire a professional on an annual basis to install proper filters, vacuum the unit, and recommend appropriate upgrades. Annual maintenance on a furnace can increase its life expectancy by up to four years.