Prevent frozen pipes and prepare your heating system for the winter

Prevent frozen pipes and prepare your heating system for the winter

The winter is full of fun, merriment, and whimsy, however, there is more to it than just that. There are also plummeting temperatures and piles of snow. These things can negatively affect your home. Because of that, it is important to prepare for the worst and to know the correct way of dealing with all potential problems.


Do

Do insulate pipes

You can do several things to help prevent pipes from freezing. Be sure to check all areas where water supply lines are exposed to the cold. All pipes in these areas should be insulated properly. When temperatures are very cold, turning on faucets and letting them drip can help prevent a pipe freeze. Also on really cold days, keep your kitchen and bathroom cabinets open so that they can get exposed to the heat in your home.

Do prepare your heating system

You can take a couple of steps to prepare your heating system for the winter, however, it is best to also get it inspected by professionals. These steps can include changing the air filter regularly, keeping area around the furnace free of debris, and inspecting air ducts of leaks or broken seams.

Do keep the gas meter free from snow and ice

If the regulator freezes the system will shut off. An energy efficient way to keep the cold out is to purchase heavy curtains. Windows can be a huge reason for colder temperatures inside so having a thick curtain can keep you warmer and save money. Also, when the snow comes, many people love to cuddle up by a fire. It is a good idea to have your chimney cleaned before the snow comes, that way you won’t be stuck in a smoky house during the first snowstorm of the year. As for the outside of your home, general cleaning like clearing gutters, trimming trees, and clearing leaves and debris (especially around your AC unit) are important to remember before the first snowfall.

Do turn off and drain unused water lines

Make sure to turn off water supply and drain all water lines. This means draining toilets, the water heater, and the expansion tank. Also, if you have a pool or fountain, those should be drained as well.

Do research what you don’t know

There are some things that people don’t expect to be helpful or true. A small example of this is how room heaters are considered energy inefficient. However, they can be a great way to stay warm if your thermostat is kept at a lower temperature, which would save you money overall.


Don't

Do not let your house get too cold

Do not change the thermostat at night or when you aren’t home. Lowering the temperature could create a pipe freeze and burst. If you are going away for a long period of time and do not want to waste extra money, do not set the thermostat below 55 degrees F.

Do not forget to hire an HVAC technician

Do not expect to be able to repair your heating system on your own. HVAC technicians specialize in this service and are equipped with the proper tools to do the best job. Also, do not wait until the middle of the cold season to get an HVAC technician to your home for an inspection. It is important to have someone come inspect your heating system before the temperatures drop. If you wait then not only will you be stuck in the cold but chances are you won’t be the only home needing service and you might be waiting longer than preferred.

Do not procrastinate

When regarding potential snowfall, the most important thing to remember is to not delay what needs to get done. Snow can sometimes be unpredictable so planning in advance is the best way to avoid harm to your home and your family. Make sure you don’t forget both the inside and outside of your property when preparing for snowfall.

Do not leave the water supply on for unused water lines

When temperatures drop, this is the prime time for pipes to burst. Leaving the potential for standing water in an unoccupied home is asking for microbial growth to occur. After just 48 hours, water-exposed materials are vulnerable to mold, which presents a whole new issue of mold remediation. Also, the use of anti-freeze is often recommended. Do not use antifreeze unless directed to do so for it can be harmful towards people and the environment.

Do not make assumptions

Don’t assume that you know everything. When in doubt, consult a professional about any problem that your home could potentially face for the winter months.


Summary
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Most importantly do not wait to get these things done. A proactive approach is always the best way to avoid disaster. If you follow through with preparing your home in a timely manner then all that is left is the joy and excitement that winter can offer. So with that, start preparing today!


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Andy RodenhiserOwner

Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning has served the 495 /128 area of Massachusetts since 1928 - building a reputation for professional and friendly service throughout the years. That superior level of service is one of the reasons ...

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