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Get your home ready for extreme cold weather

Categories: Blog | Posted: January 5, 2017

Has the snow already blasted your way? The temps have dropped to single digits and below in many areas of the aptly named “Frozen North”.

Did you winterize your home this year? It’s not a one-and-done task. You need to protect your home—and everyone who lives there—every year.

If your home is new, you have the insulation and construction that will keep you warm, but don’t overlook some basic tips for safely weathering the extreme cold.

Do a thorough check of your heating system.

Don’t lose heat when you need it most.

  • Schedule an HVAC professional to do an inspection and cleaning.
  • If you use a fireplace, have your chimney cleaned as well, because creosote builds up and ignites. Unfortunately for homeowners, it’s often have any warning before a chimney fire erupts.
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning presents a greater risk in a closed home. Replace your CO detector batteries (and smoke alarm’s as well). Also, share the symptoms of CO poisoning with all your household members: headache, dizziness, nausea, weakness, and chest pain
  • Be prepared with an alternate heating source, like a space heater. Be sure you closely follow the instructions.
  • If you rely on hot water to heat your home, bleed the valves.

Improve the air quality.

You’re spending more time inside your home during the cold months. While your home is designed to keep the heat in, you’re not getting the fresh air that circulates in warmer weather.

  • Keep a supply of air filters on hand for your furnace and replace them every three months.
  • Check for areas where condensation is building up because it’s a sign of poor ventilation. Remember, that moisture can lead to mold.
  • Install a HEPA air purifier to cleanse the air of gas, chemicals, and particulate matter.

Prevent burst pipes.

Pipes absorb the cold weather. The water in the pipes expands, and when the pressure build-up is too much, the pipe bursts. Avoid the mess by following some basic steps.

  • Wrap insulation around any exposed interior pipes in your garage, attic, or basement.
  • Disconnect all exterior hoses from the outdoor faucets.
  • During extreme cold (below freezing), allow one or two faucets (e.g., kitchen and bath) to run at a slow drip so that the water is moving through the pipe. Sedentary water is more likely to freeze.
  • If your kitchen sink is mounted on an outside wall, leave the cabinet door open to allow warm air to circulate around the pipe.
  • Know how to turn off the water supply in the event a pipe does burst!

Bundle up yourselves and your home this winter!

Kevin Oakley

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