Winter Tips to Keep You & Your Home As Safe & Efficient As Possible.
✓ Alarms - Change Smoke Detector & Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detector batteries. There should be one Smoke Detector per bedroom and on each different level of the house. Place CO Detectors up high and away from ignition sources to prevent false positives. If the CO detector goes off, leave the house immediately and have a neighbor CALL 911.
✓ Irrigation - Drain outside irrigation by removing the back-flow device, remove drain plugs so water completely drains, and cap inlets. Store back-flow device inside to prevent damaging this unit. Make sure all hoses are removed from outside hose bibs to prevent freezing and drain all water from hoses.
✓ Heat - Replace filters & have heating system serviced yearly to check for problems like cracked heat exchangers. Keep the thermostat on your vacant home set no lower than 60 Degrees. Remember plumbing is buried in the framework of the walls where the outside temperature is making this space much colder than in the room. Reverse ceiling fan rotation.
✓ Pipes - Open vanity cabinets under sinks when leaving town. This will allow heat to circulate to the supply lines & drains. Use heat tape on exposed pipes in garages or unheated utility rooms. Turn off supply lines to washing machine when leaving town. Leave water heater on & set to vacation mode to conserve energy. Close all vents around crawl space during winter months. Wrap exposed pipes- this is a small investment in materials.
✓ Roof - Clean gutters & downspouts and remove branches and needles from roof. Inspect roofing material and replace or patch if necessary. Inspect heat tape on roof line - should be replaced every few years. Monitor for ice damming during roof snow melt & freeze cycles.
✓ Fireplace - Do not empty ashes into anything except a closed metal container. Clean chimney yearly. Remember to open damper before burning, close when not in use. Do not burn paper, trash, pine cones, or green wood. Allow wood burning stoves to receive enough air for complete combustion. Low temperature, air-starved fires create dangerous Creosote which can cause house fires and is very difficult to remove. Crack a window when burning.