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Prepare Your Home for the Cold Weather

Posted on: September 23, 2010

With autumn quickly approaching in Montgomery County, Maryland (MD) and Washington D.C., it’s important to prepare your home before the cold weather hits. The cold weather can sneak up on you, and unless you have taken certain precautions, it can have a harsh affect on your home’s plumbing and HVAC systems.  Some tips for winterizing your home are:

  • Insulate.  Insulate the doors, windows and other places where cold air can come into or warm air can escape from your home. This will make it easier to regulate the temperature inside your home, and end up saving you money on your heating bills. It is also important to insulate pipes that are exposed outside the home.  Not only do exposed pipes have a higher chance of freezing during the winter, but by insulating pipes, you can also reduce the amount of time it takes to heat the water in your home.
  • Outdoor Plumbing. Disconnect hoses from the outdoor faucets and check for leaks.
  • Install A Thermostat. Install a thermostat in your home.  Thermostats help you regulate the temperature inside your home during different points of the day, and also can help troubleshoot if your heater is not working to its full capacity.
  • Interior Shut-off Valves. Locate your home’s interior main shut-off valve so that in case there is a plumbing emergency, the water can be quickly shut off before it causes too much damage to the home.
  • Sump Pumps. Inspect and clean your sump pump so that the pump continues to work throughout the winter months.
  • Water Heaters. During the colder months, your water heater has to work harder to produce hot water.  Have the water heater inspected during early fall to clean out any build up and make sure that it will last throughout the winter season.
  • Air Ducts. During the winter months, your heater works overtime and there is little ventilation in your home.  Make sure your family is breathing clean air and that your heater is not being overworked by cleaning out your air ducts.
  • Install Detectors.  Install working fire detectors and carbon monoxide detectors inside your home to keep your family healthy and safe.
  • Snowbirds.  If you will be leaving your home for several weeks or months to enjoy a sunnier setting, make sure to prepare your home’s plumbing.  Set the thermostat to 55 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent pipes from freezing.    Also, shut off the water to the house and drain the faucets so that the pipes do not freeze while the house is unattended.  Sitting water freezes much more easy than water that is frequently moving through the pipes. When pipes freeze, they expand, causing pipes to crack and leak, and the last thing you want to come home to is water damage.

For more information on how to prepare your home for the winter months in Montgomery County, Maryland (MD) or Washington D.C., or to make an appointment for Gaithersburg furnace inspection, call James A. Wheat & Sons today!