Tips: 8 winter home maintenance to dos

    Mid-winter is a good time to check for ways to reduce home energy consumption and prevent appliance and equipment breakdowns. Here are eight home maintenance tips to improve energy efficiency and keep appliances and heating systems running well.

    •Pay attention to changes in appliance and heating and cooling equipment performance.

    Changes in appliance and equipment performance are often warning signs of larger problems. Troubleshoot and complete repairs as needed to improve energy efficiency and avoid costly repairs later.
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    •Change the furnace or air handler air filter.

    This should happen every three months, or more frequently, depending on the region. A clean air filter is critical to home air quality and to the proper furnace or air handler operation. Homeowners should periodically check the condition of the furnace or air handler’s filter to determine the frequency necessary for changing the filter in their homes.

    •Clean or replace the humidifier filter, if equipped.

    •Make sure registers are obstruction free.

    Drapes and furniture should be positioned at a considerable distance from the registers to enable proper air flow. Rugs should not touch the registers.

    •Seal the exterior.

    Gaps and holes in a home’s exterior will cause drafts and increased heating costs. Use expanding foam to seal exterior holes. Seal gaps around window and door frames with weatherstripping and caulking.

    •Clean out dryer venting.

    Use a long dryer vent cleaning brush to remove lint buildup from inside of the dryer through the outside venting. Lint buildup in dryer venting is an extreme fire risk. A thorough venting clean out should happen at least once annually.

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