SOURCE: ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc.

AHS

December 21, 2016 10:30 ET

Keep Your Home Warm, Cozy and Protected This #HibernationSeason

American Home Shield shares essential winter maintenance tips for homeowners

MEMPHIS, TN--(Marketwired - December 21, 2016) - Today marks the first day of winter, a season that can be terribly hard on homeowners' plumbing and HVAC systems. With the looming threat of frozen pipes and a finicky furnace this "hibernation season," American Home Shield, a ServiceMaster (NYSE: SERV) company and the largest provider of home warranties in the nation, has created a winter checklist to keep home systems and appliances in top shape and homeowners nice and warm all season long.

"Our network of more than 12,000 contractors and 45,000 technicians knows homes inside and out," said Dave Quandt, vice president of field services. "Last year, American Home Shield completed more than 350,000 service calls related to heating repair and replacement, and unfortunately, these breakdowns often happen when the system is needed the most."

Luckily, Quandt says even small things can make a big difference when it comes to keeping your home warm, safe and energy efficient during the "hibernation season."

Here are five easy tips to get you started.

1. Check, Then Cook: Planning on baking cookies or making homemade soup for some cold weather comfort? First check to make sure your oven is not losing heat. If the oven door doesn't seal properly, it could be losing over 70 percent of its heat. Inspect the seal for breaks, tears or abnormalities and look for possible leaks. If you spot a problem, replace the seal; these are available for purchase at most home improvement stores.

2. Unblock and Save: Over time, homeowners often add or rearrange furniture without thinking about how it affects airflow. Take a walk through your home and make sure there is at least an inch or two's worth of clearance in front of every air vent. Blocking vents can cost you more money as you are likely to crank up the heat to compensate, which causes your furnace to work even harder.

3. Let Your Thermostat Do the Work: Many homeowners assume they know how to use their thermostat, but often there is much more it can do. Some thermostats can actually learn homeowners' preferences and automatically adjust to save energy. American Home Shield partner and blogger Ronique Gibson of Stagetecture encourages homeowners to take time to educate themselves on how to properly use their thermostat. Check out more of her tips for homeowners this winter season on the American Home Shield Home Matters blog.

4. Don't Forget Your Dryer: Tossing towels and blankets in the dryer to warm up on frigid days? Make sure your dryer isn't clogged first. A clogged dryer exhaust is not only inefficient; it's also a dangerous fire hazard. In most cases, all it takes to clean it is loosening the clamp to the exhaust and then gently pulling it off the back of the dryer. A vacuum attachment should be able to remove the lint and clear the vent.

5. Trust the Pros: During the colder months, your heating system or furnace can run double duty trying to compete with outdoor temperatures, so make sure to have your unit inspected to ensure it is working up to its potential. Also, consider a home warranty plan to help protect against unexpected costs associated with breakdowns and repairs. Visit AHS.com to find the right warranty for your home.

For more information and helpful #HibernationSeason tips from American Home Shield, visit the Home Matters blog or check out its YouTube Channel for Winter Maintenance videos.

About American Home Shield
American Home Shield founded the home warranty industry in 1971 and remains the industry leader. American Home Shield, together with its wholly-owned subsidiaries, services 1.6 million customers in all 50 states. The companies operate four customer service centers, employ approximately 1,800 employees and have a national contractor network made up of over 11,000 independent home service contractors and more than 45,000 service technicians. American Home Shield is a business unit of ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SERV), one of the world's largest residential and commercial service networks. Go to www.ahs.com for more information about American Home Shield or follow the company online at www.facebook.com/team.ahs or www.twitter.com/AHS_Warranty.

About ServiceMaster
ServiceMaster (NYSE: SERV) solves the homeowner's dilemma. Every day, we visit more than 75,000 homes and businesses through our extensive service network of expert professionals. Technology powers our trusted experts to engage with customers so they can order, buy and receive services when, where and how they want them. Our well-recognized brands includes American Home Shield (home warranties), AmeriSpec (home inspections), Furniture Medic (furniture repair), Merry Maids (residential cleaning), ServiceMaster Clean (janitorial and residential floor cleaning), ServiceMaster Restore (disaster restoration) and Terminix (termite and pest control). Like, follow or visit us at facebook.com/ServiceMaster, linkedin.com/ServiceMaster, twitter.com/ServiceMaster, or servicemaster.com.

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