Have You Winterized Your Home’s Internal Systems?
Winter is in full force in the Midwest, and with the frigid temperatures, snow and ice can wreak havoc on water pipes and tax heating systems. As a homeowner, it’s important to ensure your home’s internal systems are good to go for both efficiency and safety.
Keep reading to learn some things you can do take to make sure your home is equipped to withstand the rest of the winter season.
Maximize Your Heating Systems
When it comes to staying warm in the winter, you want to make sure your heating systems are in proper working order. Have you had your systems serviced lately? Furnaces, boilers, and chimneys need to be serviced at least once a year to prevent fire and smoke damage.
In order to ensure your heating system is as efficient as possible, you can add extra insulation to your attic, basement, and crawl space. If too much heat escapes through the attic, it can cause snow or ice to melt on the roof, leading to potential damage on your roof. In addition, make sure your heating system is safe by moving flammable items away from any heat sources you’ll be using. This includes fireplaces, wood stoves, and space heaters.
Be Prepared for the Unexpected
No one likes when unexpected events such as fires, carbon monoxide poisoning, or power outages occur – especially during the cold winter months. But if you’re prepared, you can rest knowing that you and your family will be safe and comfortable.
Did you know that residential fires and carbon monoxide poisoning increases during the winter months? In fact, 3 of every 5 home deaths result in fires in homes with no smoke alarms. In addition, tens of thousands of people in the United States are sickened by accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, with an average of 500 people dying in their own home each year. If you haven’t already, protect yourself by installing or checking your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Doing this could literally save your life.
Taking the time to prepare for a winter power outage can mean the difference between riding it out comfortably or surviving it in misery. It can get scary when the electricity we take for granted is no longer available, but it’s even worse in the winter. To prepare for a power outage, make sure you have a reliable back-up power source, such as a portable generator. Continuous power will help keep you warm and help prevent frozen pipes or a frozen sump pump.
Avoid Frozen Pipes
Homes located in the Midwest with plumbing in the basement or exterior walls have the greatest risk of a frozen pipe failure. However, this can be avoided by being prepared with the following:
- Know where your pipes are and how to shut off the water. The quicker you shut off your water, you have a better chance of avoiding major damage.
- Check your pipes for cracks. Make sure to have anything that needs attention fixed immediately.
- Protect pipes in attics with insulation or a plug-in heating cable. If you use a plug-in heating cable, make sure to use one with a built-in thermostat. These will only turn on when heat is needed.
- Install an emergency pressure release valve in your plumbing system. Doing this protects your system against increased pressure and can help prevent bursting pipes.
Get Ready for Melting Snow
As much as it feels like winter will stick around forever, it won’t! The snow will soon melt, which is great, but sometimes this can overburden your sewer system. To avoid this, talk to us about increasing your water-sewer backup limits. This isn’t covered under most of your standard homeowner’s insurance, renters insurance, or flood insurance policies. It can, however, typically be purchased on its own.
Have questions or want to know more about steps you can take to make sure your home is winterized? Get in touch with us! We’ll be happy to give you some pointers.