How To, Resident Responsibilities

Easy Ways to Prepare Your Home for Winter

Winter is here. It’s time to start pulling out your sweaters, perfecting your hot chocolate recipe, and getting your home ready for the coming season.

Here are a few tips to prepare your home for the winter months:

Inspect windows
Windows with leaks or cracks will quickly let cold air into your home. If you notice a significant draft, please let us know and one of our awesome technicians will come check it out.

Make sure your HVAC system is running smoothly
You’re probably already running your heater and it’s likely working well. However, if you notice any issues, it’s best to let us know right away so we can look into it before an emergency arises. Also, please replace your air filter monthly to keep your HVAC system running as efficiently as possible.
Please note, you may have noticed a mild burning smell the first couple times you ran the heater. That’s very common and the result of dust that has collected on the unit coils during the summer. If the problem persists, however, please let us know.

Keep your fireplace clean
During winter months, we hope you’ll get plenty of use of your fireplace! In order to keep your fireplace in tip-top shape, here are a few guidelines:

  • It is important to watch the ash levels in the firebox. Too much ash can cause fires to burn out quickly. We recommend removing ash regularly—just not after every use. Leaving an inch of ash in the firebox makes it easier for to build and maintain a fire.
  • Be sure to keep the glass doors free of any soot buildup. Clean doors also mean a clearer view of the fire and therefore a cozier atmosphere! Some experts suggest using a razor blade to remove thick soot layers and simply using soap and water to clean the thinner layers.
  • The hearth can also gather a lot of soot. Keeping the outer hearth clean and soot-free means cleaning about every six weeks. Concrete hearths can be cleaned with oxygen bleach, slate hearths require water and hydrogen peroxide; and you can use water, a scrub brush, and a special brick cleaner for brick hearths.

Maintain smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
To keep your family safe, check batteries once a month and change them when needed. The U.S. Fire Administration recommends replacing batteries twice a year.

Let us know about overhanging trees
Maintaining your landscaping is just as important in the winter months as it is in the summer. Overgrown trees and branches can easily break with the weight of snow, causing potential damage to your home or property.

Prevent pipes from freezing
Cold temperatures can creep farther into your home than you realize and water pipes in the walls are especially vulnerable. To keep your pipes from freezing, please remember to keep your thermostat set on at least 65°F, even when you aren’t home. Not adequately heating your home could cause frozen and broken pipes, which can lead to floods. We also recommend letting a faucet trickle overnight, during extremely cold temperatures, to keep water flowing through the pipes. Exterior faucets can be quickly and easily insulated using a hard faucet cover, available at any home improvement store for less than $5.

Create a mudroom
Consider creating a DIY mudroom area, complete with an indoor/outdoor rug, coat rack and shoe rack so you can trap mud and snow before it makes its way on your floors. We’ve pinned several DIY mudroom and entryway ideas to our Pinterest board to help get your creative juices flowing!

We hope you enjoy this winter in your warm and cozy Progress home! If you have any questions or need to let us know about any issues, you can call us at 833.PRG.RESS (833.774.7377) or place a service request online by clicking here.

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