It is that time of year again when we are experiencing colder temperatures that can quickly reach the freezing point. We can also see additional precipitation that can cause some snowfall very quickly.
This also means that some extra consideration needs to be taken for Winterizing Your Home. These simple tasks can minimize and reduce potential damage from winter conditions and prolong the good condition of your home. Below are just a few items that can help with the transition from Autumn to Winter, and are common questions we are asked by our clients.
Let’s get right into it!
Downspouts and Gutters
Downspouts should be pointing away from the home. This ensures moisture run-off from the roof is draining away from the home. Additional moisture flowing toward the home can lead to foundation leaks etc. Ensure gutters are cleaned and free of leaves/debris and damage that can cause blockage.
Exterior Hose Bibs
Frozen pipes can cause a LOT of damage. Here we will explain how to winterize the exterior hose bibs.
You should be aware of the location of the hose bib shut-off valve. This is typically located in the mechanical room, but can also be located, (and possibly concealed), elsewhere.
Most hose bibs today are self-draining, meaning that they automatically drain a portion of water to the outside to help avoid water freezing in the water pipes.
First, turn the interior shut-off valve to the closed position. Second, remove and store all hoses, and then open the exterior hose bib(s) to drain any excess water out of the water pipes. Once all water has drained, simply turn the hose bib off. That’s it!
The exterior hose bibs are now winterized and safe from freezing until the warmer weather returns in the Spring.
Heating and Cooling
It is a good idea to be familiar with the heating and cooling systems in your home. These systems can vary greatly in quality, performance, age, and overall condition, but their designs can be broken down into a fuel source (e.g. natural gas, electricity), distribution system (ducting, pipes, wiring), and temperature control (thermostat). The majority of homes here have a gas-fired furnace. (The content here is based on this common Gas-fired Furnace Heating System). Other designs can be simpler, or even more complex. Again, it is always a good idea to have some basic knowledge of your system. Locate and know where the shut-off valves are for each appliance. This can be useful in an emergency.
Regular maintenance is recommended/required.
Along with the colder weather, the Cooling Unit/Air Conditioner is no longer going to be required to cool your home and will be replaced with the operation of the Heating/Furnace system. Depending on your cooling system, you may need to do very little, or more. It is a good idea to look at the manual of your cooling unit to see what maintenance recommendations are required before winter conditions arrive.
Depending on your Thermostat make and model, you may need to change from cooling to heating manually. These can vary greatly in design and options. It is recommended to familiarize yourself with the thermostat operations.
The Furnace should have the filter changed every 3 months. (These are filtering particulates in the air that you breathe). Furnaces less than 8-10 years old are recommended to be serviced every 2 years. Furnaces older than 8-10 years old are recommended to be serviced every year. It is a good idea to have the ducts cleaned every 2nd year also. This helps to remove dust and debris in the distribution system and provides cleaner air.
See our Blog Post on Humidifiers for more information.
(Additional content may be added periodically).