Once you find yourself in the rush of the holiday season, home maintenance becomes the last thing on your mind. It turns out, though, that making sure the halls are in great shape for winter is just as important as decking them. This holiday home maintenance checklist is designed to make your life easier once your first guests start arriving. It might be one more to-do list among dozens, but we promise you’ll thank yourself later. Call a Chimney Specialist Chimney specialists are incredibly busy this time of year, so the sooner you can check this task off your list, the better! If you neglected your chimney at the close of last winter, you need to have it professionally cleaned by a chimney sweep. Creosote can build up in chimneys that haven’t been maintained properly and lead to house fires. It goes without saying, but the safety of you and your guests depends on making that call. Change Your Furnace Filter and Have Your System Serviced We can’t think of a worse time for the heat to go out than when guests arrive! Changing out your furnace filter is a must, especially if you haven’t gotten around to it since last year. This will ensure your furnace is working efficiently, and it can go a long way toward improving indoor air quality. You may also want to give your HVAC specialist a call. They can give your whole unit a onceover and make sure everything looks up to snuff for the cold weeks to come. Take Care of Drafts While not the end of the world, chilly drafts can certainly undermine a cozy and festive holiday atmosphere. They can also send your energy bill skyrocketing. Luckily, drafty windows are relatively easy and inexpensive to fix with weatherstripping, caulk and insulation film. Stock Up on Salt and Snow Removal Equipment If fighting fellow shoppers over the last bag of ice melt the night before the first big snow doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, you’ll want to stock up now. Salt, ice melt and snow shovels can go fast since we tend to scramble for them last-minute. If you own a snow blower, make sure it’s still working properly after being stored for all those months. And next time you’re at a service station, fill up a gas can to have on hand. Bonus Tip: Sturdy work gloves never go amiss when there’s snow on the horizon. Dig your best heavy-duty gloves out of the closest or grab a couple of pairs made especially for winter shoveling and snow blowing for $20 or less. Have Your Home Professionally Cleaned They say time is priceless, and we think they’re on to something. With so much to do, why not hire a professional cleaning service, just this once? Not only will professional cleaners do a far more thorough job than you and your family can pull off alone, they’ll be in an out in an hour or two while you get to work shopping, wrapping and arranging. Most importantly of all, hiring out all that dusting and mopping will save your sanity, and it doesn’t get much better than that. Call National Property Inspections for a full assessment of your home. Our NPI inspectors can assess your home’s major systems and create a comprehensive report with high-quality photos. Call an inspector near you today to get the answers you need to invest with success.