Posted: November 10, 2017 5:50 pm
As the days grow colder, H. Jack’s Plumbing and Heating Co. is looking forward to the holidays, sleigh rides, and hot cocoa by the fire. But before we enjoy the chilly weather, we want to give you winter home maintenance tips to help prepare your house for the snow and cold. The last thing you want during the winter months is a furnace breakdown and a frozen home! This eight-point winter checklist will ensure you have a warm winter, despite the chill outside.
1. Inspect your Furnace or Boiler.
Check the area around the furnace or boiler and remove all flammable objects. Before officially turning on your furnace, have it inspected by a professional technician who can spot any problems you may have missed and let you know if you need furnace repair! Also, if you have a boiler, make sure to get a boiler inspection. H. Jack’s can provide you with a boiler or furnace inspection, as well as boiler or furnace repair services to ensure your heater won’t break down on you in the dead of winter.
2. Check your Carbon Monoxide Detector.
Ensure the alarm is working for those winter months where you are holed up inside. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that can cause harm to you and your family, especially during the winter months when it tends to build-up inside your home. Change those batteries if need be and have peace of mind this winter.
3. Change your HVAC Filter.
A clean filter means air flows through your house without restriction, while dirty filters make your heater work harder than it needs to and drives up your heating bill. Air filters should be replaced just about every month, but be sure to replace your air filter especially before you turn on your heating system.
4. Insulate, insulate, insulate.
Check your attic, crawlspaces, and even your ceiling. Insulate any space where air is leaking, so you don’t lose the rising warm air you need to heat your house! Also, make sure to seal the smaller places air can leak through, like windows and doors. Save on energy costs by weatherstripping and caulking those places cold air sneaks into your home.
5. Reverse your Ceiling Fans.
Hot air rises, but you want that nice warm air to move downwards rather than stay up by the ceiling. By reversing your ceiling fans to a clockwise direction, you create an updraft that pushes the warm air down into the room. This keeps your house warmer, so you can lower that thermostat.
6. Radiator Tune-up and Vent Check-up.
Inspect your radiators and vents, ensuring they are free of dust and dirt. Double check nothing is covering or blocking them, such as furniture or drapes. This blockage can create a safety hazard and hinder airflow.
7. Pipe Insulation.
Pipes in vulnerable places like attics, crawl spaces, and basements are in danger of freezing because of extreme temperatures. Confirm that air is circulating where these pipes are located and add extra insulation around exposed pipes. Insulating pipes secures a steady water supply, and it also provides protection so that after winter has thawed, you don’t have any leaks. As a bonus, insulating pipes puts less stress on your hot water tank, --which you should also check for leaks and damage before the colder temperatures set in. If any problems arise with your pipes or your hot water heater, contact H. Jack’s for our expert plumbing services.
8. Clean Gutters
You want to be sure all water is away from your house to prevent leaks, flooding, and icicles from taking over this winter. Besides cleaning up those gutters, you should also disconnect your garden hose and turn off all exterior faucets. Drain out the excess water though, otherwise it can freeze and burst your pipes! Divert any extra water that might be coming down from your roof with trenches or extensions to your downspouts, so that it is deposited at least a few feet away from your foundation.
Get your house ready for winter with this checklist, and call H. Jack’s to inspect your furnace or boiler to guarantee everything is working properly. However, if there’s an emergency during those unpredictable winter months, know that H. Jack’s experienced technicians are on call 24 hours a day for your heating and plumbing needs. So don’t hesitate, and schedule an appointment that first snowflake falls!