January is an excellent time of the year to look at some of those items within the house that you may not think about too often. This is the focus of our January Home Maintenance Checklist.
- Clean bathroom drains – This is never a fun job, but keeping your drains running free and clear of gunk and hair will prevent back-ups and also reduce the growth of mold and mildew within your pipes.
- Water filters – With Lancaster County’s hard water, many homes have at least one water filter, if not more. Now is the time to replace all of those filters – on your refrigerator, under the sink or the whole house – to keep your water tasting (and feeling) clean. Also, if you use a water pitcher filter, like Brita®, now is a good time to replace that, too.
- Organize the closets and other storage areas – Before you put away those holiday decorations, now is the ideal time to go through them. Purge what you won’t use by throwing out broken items and donating others. While you are at it, go through your closets and do the same with your clothes and linens. (Linens are often accepted at local animal shelters.) Make January the month that you de-clutter your home.
- Compile or update your home inventory – While this isn’t the most pleasant job, it is a necessary one. You’ll want a fairly detailed list of your belongings in case of a fire, theft or natural disaster. Use the video mode on your phone to document the rooms and outside of your home, and then the camera mode to take pictures of individual items. Focus on one room at a time, and you’ll get it done. Make sure you store your inventory in a safe deposit box, fireproof safe or on the “cloud” so you have it, if you need it. Make this an annual event.
- Monitor snow and ice to prevent furnace shutdowns – If you heat your home with a natural gas furnace, you probably have two pipes that lead to the outside of your house. One is an “intake” pipe that brings fresh air into your furnace, which is needed for combustion. The other is an “outtake pipe” that pushes warmer air outside. When the warm, moist air hits the cold air outside, it can freeze, and over time it could clog up your pipe – causing your furnace to shut down. Monitor the pipes and knock the ice chunks off regularly. This will allow air to flow in and out of your furnace, and is an easy fix to avoid a major catastrophe.