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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, January 8, 2021

January offers substantial to-do list for homeowners




As winter settles in the Tennessee Valley, here are some things you can do to protect your home from the cold and use the time indoors to your advantage.

Protect your pipes

Cold weather can cause cracked pipes, leading to flooding in your home. If you haven’t already, turn off water to your outdoor spigots, open the valves and drain existing water.

Also, insulate any exposed pipes. If you’re going to be away from home, leave your water running a trickle inside at the bathroom and kitchen faucets.

If you do find yourself with a frozen pipe, use a hair dryer or wrap it in a heating pad to thaw the pipe. If a pipe bursts, shut off the main water valve and call a plumber.

To find a professional plumber in our area, visit the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga at HBAGC.net.

Check detectors

As we find ourselves spending more time inside gathered around fireplaces and heaters, it’s imperative to make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly. Press the test button on your devices and change batteries routinely.

Clear clutter and organize

Decluttering the whole house can seem like a daunting task. Instead, focus on one area or category at a time. Clean out the pantry, refrigerator and freezer, check for expiration dates and wipe down shelves.

In addition, organize toys and games, donating those you are no longer using.

Finally, go through closets and discard items that no longer fit or haven’t been worn in the last year or so. Enlist a friend’s help if you have trouble parting with items.

“A new year is a great time to plan and install a new closet, pantry or built-ins to help curb the clutter in homes,” says HBAGC member Gary Hitson of Hitson Cabinets. “There are many new organizational design elements available that will help homeowners save time and add value to their home.”

Clean filters, vents

Have you changed your HVAC filter lately? Professionals recommend these be changed every one to two months to keep your system running efficiently.

Since many of us have been cooking at home more the past year, be sure to clean your range hood filter, or replace it if the grime is too stubborn.

Also, clean debris from your dryer and air vents to avoid potential fire hazards and keep your heat flowing smoothly. If you haven’t had your HVAC maintenanced for the winter, now is the time as temperatures drop.

For a list of professionals to keep your home in shape this winter, visit the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga website at HBAGC.net.