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Protect Your Home From Winter's Chill

MISSION, KS -- (Marketwire) -- 12/27/12 -- (Family Features) When the temperatures drop, the last thing you need is for your heating or plumbing system to act up. Some basic maintenance can help to ensure your home plumbing and heating systems are functioning properly.

A regular maintenance schedule helps protect you against system or appliance failures that leave you with a crisis requiring urgent -- and potentially very costly -- solutions.

To help protect your home during the cold winter months, American Home Shield, one of the nation's leading providers of home warranty services, shares some tips for making sure your heating unit and plumbing system are in good condition to handle extreme temperatures.

Heating Maintenance:

  • Check filters every month.
  • Make sure floor vents are not blocked to ensure clear air flow.
  • Visually inspect exhaust vent for rust, damage or deterioration.
  • Be familiar with the manufacturer's maintenance recommendations for your specific unit. This information is typically available online and in your owner's guide.

Plumbing Maintenance:

  • Only flush toilet paper down a toilet.
  • Maintain water softener according to manufacturer's recommendations.
  • Water filters and icemaker filters should be changed according to the manufacturer's recommendations.
  • Avoid using your garbage disposal if you're on a septic system.
  • Drain sediment from water heater tank according to manufacturer's recommendations.
  • If you aren't familiar, locate your master valve so you can quickly turn your home's water off if a line breaks. In most homes, the valve is located near the water heater, the clothes washer, or where the water service line enters your home.
  • Check the hose bibs to clothes washers to ensure they are tightly connected to minimize leaks and overuse of the system.

Taking these steps can help keep your home systems in good working order throughout the winter. But not everyone has the time or skills to do the maintenance required.

A professional preventative maintenance program can be a time- and money-saver for homeowners. Quality service providers perform a thorough check of your home's systems and appliances to help ensure they are operating efficiently.

To learn more about preventive maintenance recommendations for your home's systems and appliances, visit

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