Tips & Tricks To Prepare Your Home
Did anyone else notice that Jack Frost made his unwelcome appearance in the Midwest this week? I woke up and promptly made my way over to the coffee pot to brew a pot of survival juice and open the window expecting to see the bright warm sun and a beautiful day awaiting me but instead I saw frost. You could say I was less than enthused to see it so early this year. But frost isn’t the biggest problem that the cold weather and Winter bring here in Michigan, frozen and burst pipes, however, are right at the top of the list! Not to mention nasty roads, chilly rooms, and failing furnaces! Luckily, there are a few things you can do to make these Winter months go much smoother at your house. Keep reading to find out how to prep your house for the upcoming Winter and how to save yourself money by lowering your energy bill during the coldest months by preparing now.
CHECK YOUR CO & SMOKE DETECTOR BATTERIES
As homeowners, Winter tends to be the season we keep our houses shut tight. With less ventilation and typically more plugs being used, candles being burned, and less ventilation your home is at greater risk of fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. To protect you and your family be sure to check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If you have smoke detectors but no carbon monoxide detectors you can usually find units that detect both carbon monoxide and smoke at your local hardware store.
GET SMART ABOUT KEEPING YOUR HOME WARM
Keeping your home warm in the Midwest can prove challenging during a cold front but a smart thermostat can make your life a ton easier. A WiFi Thermostat will allow you to set your home’s thermostat to your desired temperature from anywhere. You can even receive alerts when your home dips in temperature and set the thermostat to learn your preferences and adjust automatically. How cool is that? Call us TODAY to have your new WiFi thermostat installed. Check out our blog on how to get a rebate on it, too!
Remember to keep your thermostat at a steady temperature whenever possibly and especially during a cold snap. Do not turn it down to try and save on money or your pipes may freeze and burst costing you thousands in the long run. NEVER let your home drop below 55 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent frozen and burst pipes.
CHECK YOUR FILTERS
If you haven’t already caught on, because we are constantly reminding you, check your furnace filters, and change them every couple of months! A dirty filter can not only damage your furnace and prevent your home from being heated properly with clean air, but it can also start a fire. You can get replacement filters at your local hardware store. If you aren’t sure what one to get you can always take your old one with you. Be sure to change it now before it gets really cold and your furnace is running nearly non-stop.
HAVE YOUR DUCTS CLEANED
You should have your ducts and venting cleaned at least once a year and every six months if you have pets or a lot of dirt, dust or other debris is in or near your home. You can have your ducts cleaned for a reasonable price through a professional duct cleaning company. Google can be your best friend when find a duct and carpet cleaning company nearest you.
TEST RUN YOUR FURNACE NOW
If you haven’t already, test run your furnace now to make sure there are no issues before you are counting on it to keep you and your family warm. If you smell gas when you start up the furnace for the first time, shut it off immediately and call Todd at (989)-780-2963 to have your furnace inspected and fixed. Smelling gas indicates there is a leak or other serious problem with your furnace.
CHECK FOR LEAKS
Leaks can become worse much more quickly in the winter months and should be addressed before freezing temperatures. Check your faucets, shower heads, and water pressure. If you find and leaks, cracks or another cause for concern call Todd at (989)-780-2963 to have your problem fixed fast and efficiently!
HAVE YOUR PIPES INSPECTED
Damaged or compromised pipes are at an increased risk for burst pipes and devastating water damage resulting in costly home repairs. Every few years you should have your pipes inspected for the condition of pipes, presence of cracks or leaks, and insulation. You can also have insulation added to pipes to prevent any frozen pipes in vulnerable areas. Call Three T’s Plumbing, INC. today to schedule an inspection of your home’s pipes before the heart of winter.
SHUT OFF OUTDOOR FAUCETS
Turn off outdoor faucets at their shutoff valves and open the outside faucet. Then open the bleeder cap on the shutoff valve to drain any excess water out of the pipe. If you don’t drain the pipe the water can still freeze and damage the pipe. Leave a bucket under the open bleeder cap to catch any dripping water. Though, if the water continues to drip your shutoff valve needs to be replaced and Three T’s Plumbing, INC. would be happy to help you!
INSTALL FROST-FREE SILL COCKS
A frost-free sill cock has it’s working parts located up to 18 inches inside the home instead of right at the spigot like a traditional faucet to prevent freezing and cracking. These risk prevention faucets are inexpensive and can be installed quickly. Give Todd a call today and protect yourself from burst pipes this Winter and next Winter, too!
DISCONNECT HOSES FROM OUTSIDE FAUCETS
Don’t forget that hoses can freeze and crack, too! Disconnect them from your outside spigot to prevent water freezing and cracking and the seal into the home. Drain and store your hoses somewhere warm for the Winter.
COVER HOSE BIBS
You can find hose bib covers that insulate and slow heat loss from outside faucets at your local hardware store for a few dollars a piece. They are easy and quick to install and you can do it all by yourself!
SHUTOFF THE WATER BEFORE LEAVING TOWN
Before you leave town, shut off the water at the main shutoff. This will significantly reduce the amount of damage sustained in any pipes should freeze and burst while you are away. You can leave faucets open to allow any trapped water to escape and any water in the lines to drain before leaving. Don’t forget to shut off your automatic ice makers, too! They can get stuck on and burn up the motor, as well as, jack your electric bill up! No one wants a higher electric bill I’m sure!
I hope this Winter treats you well and your home is ready to defeat the evil that is Midwest cold fronts and snowstorms. But I know life happens and so if you find yourself with an issue that needs solving fast and correctly, call Three T’s Plumbing, INC and ask for Todd today!