Cold weather is coming! Check out these tips to winterize your home!
1. Protect Your Pipes
Before the onset of cold weather, protect your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:
• Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer’s or installer’s directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
• Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
• Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
• Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
• Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a “pipe sleeve” or installing UL-listed “heat tape,” “heat cable,” or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
• Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.
2. Time to Weatherproof
Weather stripping or installing storm doors and windows will prevent cold air from entering your home or heat from escaping it, which will reduce your power bills.
3. Check your Fireplace
Animal nests or creosote buildup in your fireplace can be hazardous. Have an annual inspection before building your first fire of the season.
4. Block the Cold
Caulk around windows and use foam outlet protectors to prevent cold air from entering your home. However, the majority of heat loss typically occurs via openings in the attic. Check to make sure that you have enough insulation.
5. Change Your Thermostat
Have you switched out your thermostat to a programmable version? If not, add this one to your list. A programmable thermostat lets you customize your heating so the system doesn’t run when you don’t need it. You can program the thermostat for one temperature when you’re at home and another when you’re away.
Best Care is your one-stop shop to winterize your pipes and make sure your furnace is performing at its peak!