As a first-time homeowner, there are certain home and maintenance-related tasks, to-do’s, and issues you just might not be aware of—and that’s never more true than in the winter months. But not handling those tasks can lead to a variety of winter-related challenges with your home—so understanding what to keep an eye out for in the winter is critical.
So what, exactly, should you be looking out for?
A recent article from realtor.com outlined the (not-so-fun) surprises many first-time homeowners find themselves facing during their first winter in their new home, including:
- Higher-than-expected heating costs. When the temperatures drop outside, chances are, you want to turn up the thermostat inside. But many first-time homeowners are shocked when they get their first winter heating bill—and the number is a lot higher than they were anticipating. If your heating costs are higher than expected, consider investing in a smart thermostat, which better monitors temperature in each room—and can help bring down your energy bill.
- Plumbing challenges. If you’ve never owned a house or lived in a cold climate, you may not know that leaving the garden hoses hooked up outside is a major no-no—as water can freeze in the hose and back up water flow, causing major plumbing issues throughout the house. If you want to keep your plumbing working well all winter long, make sure to disconnect all your exterior houses when the temperatures start to drop.
- Issues with the fireplace. If you bought a home with a fireplace, chances are, you couldn’t wait until winter to get cozy next to a fire. But regular home inspections might miss some fireplace-related issues—which can lead to a fireplace fail come winter. Before you light up your first fire, consider getting a dedicated fireplace inspection and/or hiring a chimney sweep to ensure you can easily (and safely!) enjoy your fireplace all winter long.
Knowing some of the unexpected issues first-time homeowners face during the winter can help you better prepare yourself to deal with those issues—and will ensure your home makes it to spring in tip-top condition.