Once I purchased my first home, I realized that I needed to do my part in caring for my home appliances. In addition to reading the user manuals for my kitchen appliances and state-of-the-art plumbing system, I realized that I also needed to do a little research about HVAC. Because I had no experience with HVAC systems, I called out a professional to teach me a thing or two. It was fascinating to talk with him, and I was able to take notes about all kinds of important topics, such as maintenance, troubleshooting, and even shopping for a new system. This blog is all about understanding HVAC guidelines.
As we're moving into these colder months, many homeowners are trying to figure out how best to winterize their homes. There are a variety of things you can do for your HVAC system, but you should also not neglect your home's plumbing as well. While you certainly can call a professional to do some of the items on this list for you, some of the best steps that you can take are also some of the easiest. However, if you require assistance for any reason, contact a professional before the temperature really starts to drop.
Wrap Exposed Pipes
If your home has an attic and basement, go through both of them with a roll of insulation or heat tape ready. You should notice a series of exposed pipes either underneath the floorboard or above your ceiling; if so, wrap what you can see. As the pipes get colder, they contract, and they can either break immediately or will snap once the temperatures start to rise again. Either way, a water leak in your home is a surefire recipe for major construction damage, which will be much more expensive than the time it takes to simply wrap them up.
Keep the Heat On
One of the main mistakes that homeowners make, especially as they leave the home to travel for the holidays, is turning their home's heat source off. Ideally, you should keep your home's temperature above 55° year-round to ensure that the plumbing in your home doesn't freeze while you're gone. If you don't, you'll return to a home that has not only sprung a leak and is now flooded, but the leak could also have caused hundreds, if not thousands of dollars worth of water damage in the process.
Let Your Faucet Drip
Normally, if your faucets are constantly dripping, that means you have a cracked seal or broken washer inside your fixture. However, in the winter, a steady drip of your faucets — both indoor and outdoor — will allow for constant water movement inside your plumbing and protect them from standing still and freezing. You don't need a lot of water moving through your pipes, just a steady drip every couple of minutes should be enough to protect your plumbing.
Seal Up Cracks
The spot in your home where the plumbing goes to the outside is usually one of the biggest exit points for energy inside your house. Even something as small as a crack between the pipes and the wall can allow air to move freely; blocking that exit point will ensure that your home's temperature stays regulated and the pipes stay thawed. If you are unsure about how to do this, or can't find all these exit points, hire professional plumbing contracting services to do it for you.
For more information about preparing your plumbing for winter, contact a local plumbing service.