Getting your home ready for winter means more than changing out seasonal décor and rearranging your coat rack. In addition to cleaning out gutters and attending to potential outdoor electrical safety issues that we discussed in Part 1, you’ll want to deal with a few other potential hazards. Doing so will help you keep your family as safe as possible, while protecting your financial investment in your home and keeping you from having to pay for costly repairs, down the road.
Caring for Outdoor Water Sources
Before the first frost, it’s important to drain your outdoor water faucets and winterize your sprinkler system, if you have one. If you don’t, leaks and damage to your home’s plumbing system can result. This job is probably one you can do yourself, if you’re willing to get a little wet.
First, you’ll want to turn off your home’s main water supply, making sure not to interrupt a dishwasher cycle, washing machine load, or shower in progress! After that, you’ll need to open exterior water valves and allow any water to drain out of the main line. Once you’re finished, be sure to turn off the valves and wrap them in towels to protect them from the cold.
If you have a sprinkler system, schedule a blowout to make sure pipes won’t freeze and burst. You’ll probably want to hire a local landscaping company for this task, since it requires an air compressor and can pose risks to homeowners who are inexperienced with that kind of force.
Cleaning Your Chimney
As romantic as images of a cozy fireplace can be as a backdrop to family photos or holiday traditions, they can also pose a threat to your family’s safety. In order to make sure your holiday memories are warm and toasty but not in flames, you’ll want to remove any remaining wood or ash from your fireplace and hire a chimney cleaner to remove the kind of soot, ash, and chemical deposits that contribute to over 25,000 chimney fires each year. Your chimney sweep need not be proficient in Mary Poppins-style dancing, but he should make sure the damper is functional so your chimney isn’t the source of heat loss once the temperatures dive.
Maintaining your HVAC System
An annual furnace tune-up not only keeps you from suffering during winter’s coldest moments or enduring a preventable house fire, but it also helps your HVAC system last years longer than it would without regular maintenance. A professional HVAC contractor will lubricate and clean your furnace’s components, change the filter, and make sure it’s able to keep the temperature stable. This kind of furnace tune-up is ideally done on a semi-annual basis.
If you have window air conditioning units, you’ll want to remove them and store them carefully over the winter. You can use the opportunity to clean your windows, as well, dreaming of all the pretty pictures you’ll see framed by them throughout the winter months.
Continue reading with Part 3.
D’Amico Electric Company
Since 1994, the D’Amico Electric Company has been offering electrical contracting services for industrial, commercial and residential buildings. From backup generator installation & ongoing maintenance to landscape/accent wiring and home theater systems, our experienced technicians are here to serve you. With our fleet of 10 trucks, we provide emergency electrical services 24 hours a day. Visit our website at damicoelectriccompany.com.
D’Amico Electric is licensed in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties, New York and all of Connecticut. Our founder is Anthony D’Amico, a licensed electrician since 1992, who is a member of the Westchester Licensed Electrical Contractors Association.
When you need electrical help, choose D’Amico. We bring safe & innovative electrical solutions to homes & businesses. For more information on how we can serve you, call D’Amico Electric today at (914) 241-6909.
Image credits: Top © Stauke/Fotolia. 2nd © John Keith/Fotolia. 3rd © Sebastien Fremont/Fotolia.
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