With winter just around the corner, now’s the time to start preparing for these long months of freezing temperatures, snow, ice, and other hazards your home may face. Winter can wreak havoc on your home, including on your most important systems if you aren’t prepared. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a ton of time or money to make sure your home adequately prepped for winter weather. In fact, there are tons of thing you can do yourself to get ahead on the winterization process. Check out our blog for a few of these helpful winterization tips you should follow.
Plumbing Winterization Tips
- Shut off outdoor faucets: All outdoor faucets are regulated by a shutoff valve, usually located in your basement or in a location of your home near where the outdoor faucet is located. Shut off the water to your faucet with this valve. Likewise, open the bleeder cap and place a bucket beneath it to catch any water that drains out. If water continually drips out through the bleeder valve after a few minutes, your valve itself may be worn out and need to be replaced.
- Install frost-free sillcocks: A sillcock tilts the water pipe that leads to your outdoor faucets just a little bit. These can be up to 18 inches inside your wall and are designed to prevent water from accumulating in your faucet and freezing.
- Disconnect garden hoses: Got a garden hose you use to keep your yard looking great all year long? Now’s the time to shut off your outdoor faucet, disconnect the spray nozzle, roll up the hose, and bring it into the garage. Be sure to drain the water out before you do—frozen water in a garden hose can cause the hose to burst and even contribute to freezing in outdoor faucets if left connected.
- Cover up hose bibs: Hose bib covers are another anti-freezing technology available at most home improvement centers for just a few dollars. These invaluable little shields prevent freezing cold air from reaching your hose bibs, resulting in freezing, cracking, and leaks that can happen when the water inside an outdoor faucet freezes.
Electrical Winterization Tips
- Test-start your generator: Do you have an emergency generator? Whether it’s a built-in standby unit or a portable generator, make sure your generator is working properly by test-starting it. You may need to change the oil in your engine for a portable unit or schedule a tune-up for your standby generator if something doesn’t seem to be working right.
- Check your smoke & carbon monoxide detectors: The majority of fuel-burning heaters produce some form of exhaust, and that exhaust could very well have carbon monoxide in it. Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer, being odorless, colorless, and tasteless. Check your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they work and consider swapping out their backup batteries so they stay on in the event of a power failure.
- Close & cover your electrical panel: Your electrical panel is going to face some pretty harsh weather if it’s located outside. Now’s the time to close it up, make sure it remains closed and protected from the elements, and then cover it to keep it protected from some of the harshest weather. Make sure outdoor panels are also well clear of debris like tree branches or bushes.
- Test GFCI outlets: GFCI outlets need to be installed anywhere water may be present, such as all outdoor outlets, bathrooms, garages, or near water faucets. Press the little button on the outlet labeled “test.” If the “reset” button pops out, the outlet is good to go. If the “reset” button does not release, replace the outlet.
Heating & Cooling Winterization Tips
- Change your HVAC system filter: Do you want to avoid a costly breakdown that leaves you without heat this winter? Changing your air filter is a good step toward doing so. You would not believe the sheer number of problems that can be traced back at least partially to a clogged air filter. Check your filter once a month and replace it as necessary.
- Remove any flammable items from around vents & registers: Do you have any fabric curtains, rugs, dry wood furniture, or other particularly heat-sensitive things located near heat registers? If these things get too hot, they could catch fire. Make sure all registers and vents are clear of obstruction by at least a 3-foot radius.
- Schedule a heating tune-up service: A tune-up service will keep your heater running efficiently and safely all winter long. Schedule a tune-up service now to make sure your heater’s ready for winter and that you’ll save the most on your heating and cooling energy costs.
Whether you need a repair or want to schedule a winterization tune-up for your heating and cooling, plumbing, or electrical system, trust My Plumber Heating Cooling & Electrical to get it done! Give us a call at (844) 294-8999 today.