So much for fall, right? Cold weather always seems to sneak up on us this time of year. However, talking about freezing temperatures does nothing to prepare your home for these unusually cold temperatures we're having. As we approach the time of year when temperatures are consistently below freezing, we'd like to remind you of a few things you should do to prepare your home when temperatures are 30 degrees (F) or below for more than one hour.
1. Disconnect any outside water hoses from outside faucets.
You may not have used your hosepipe in months, but any water that remains can freeze and crack the faucet. Avoid this costly situation by simply disconnecting your water hoses from outside faucets during the winter months.
2. Prepare for Winter by insulating all outside pipes and faucets.
On a similar note, you can use cloth or similar material to prevent your outside pipes and faucets from freezing. This should include all piping in your attic as well as those to water heaters.
If you have a backflow assembly on your water service line, it, too, may freeze with very cold temperatures. Insulate the assembly properly by wrapping or covering the pipe. Do not cover the bottom relief opening on the underside in the middle of the apparatus to avoid creating other flooding problems.
3. Circulate warm air.
You probably know that if you want to contain warm air in one room, you should close the door to that room. In a similar manner, to prepare for winter, circulate warm air throughout your home by openning up your doors. That includes opening cabinet doors so that the warm hair can circulate around pipes.
4. Keep a trickle of water running.
You've probably heard this one before, but keep a trickle of water running from faucets that connect to pipes in unheated spaces. This will further prevent those pipes from freezing and cracking.
5. Know where your main shut-off valve is.
The main shut-off valve is usually found on the side of your house where the water comes in from the water meter. It is commonly placed in the garage, basement, or crawl space just inside the foundation, often near the front faucet. Identify it's location now so that if you ever need it, you know exactly where to go.
6. Check to make sure the cover to your water meter fits snuggly.
If your pipes do freeze, you can use the valve inside the meter box to shut off all the water to the house, helping to prevent indoor flooding when pipes thaw.
7. Have Choice HVAC perform a maintenance check and tune-up.
If you haven't done so already, call Choice HVAC to schedule your annual maintenance check and tune-up. HVAC systems that are regularly maintained will last longer. Why? Tune-ups are designed to ensure optimum performance and to spot potential failures. When a part fails, the system is under undue strain. The strain causes other parts to work harder and, in turn, damages them as well. Don't wait for the system to fail. Call and have one of our HVAC experts check out your system. Don't forget to ask about our current offers.
8. Add supplemental (space) heaters to commonly used areas.
However, be extra careful with these units. Make sure all combustible materials such as drapes or chairs are at least 3 feet away from all space heaters. While space heaters are often necessary, you don't want to cause a house fire in the process of heating your home.
9. Safely use fireplaces.
To reduce the chance of a fire, avoid using flammable liquids to start your fireplace. Also, do not leave a fireplace unattended, especially wood-burning fireplaces.
10. Make sure all smoke detectors are working properly
Check your batteries. If they haven't been replaced in a while, you may want to go ahead and change them. While you're at it, make sure you have a fire extinguisher just in case.
Call CHOICE Heating & Air Conditioning today to schedule a maintenance check. Preparing your HVAC system for fall can save you time, money and peace of mind all season long. Don't wait until your heat doesn't work later this year, make your appointment today!