5 Steps to Prepare Your Home for Winter
Crisp breeze, frosty mornings, orange leaves… love it or hate it, cold weather has officially arrived in central Pennsylvania. Fortunately, Autumn is an ideal time to plan ahead with some home maintenance, protect the investment you’ve made in your home, and prepare to keep you and your family cozy all winter long. Read on for five tips from the JK Mechanical team on preparing your home for winter weather:
Remove Hoses from Spigots
Be sure and remove your hoses from any outdoor spigots, even if they’re labelled “frost-free.” Otherwise, your pipes are at risk of freezing and bursting. Coil up the hose and store it indoors (or otherwise protected, such as with a cover or in a shed) for best results.
Schedule Your HVAC Maintenance
JK technicians typically recommend getting professional maintenance done on your HVAC system 1-2 times per year. (In addition, for most manufacturers, once per year is the minimum required to maintain your equipment warranty.) If it’s been a while since your last maintenance, Autumn is a great time to make sure everything in your home comfort system is in good shape before heating system begins in earnest. Plus, according to a study from the National Center for Energy Management, professional, regular preventative maintenance can reduce HVAC energy costs by at an average of 15 – 20 percent per year!
Bonus Tip: Your Precision Tune-Up is also a great time to check in with your Indoor Air Quality. Winter germs and viruses can thrive in stuffy indoor air, while heat can really dry out the air and exacerbate asthma and sinus issues. Whole home indoor air quality solutions such as an electronic air cleaner and whole-home humidifier improve the health and safety of air throughout your entire home without the extra work or clutter of in-room units. Talk to your technician at your next service appointment or request an estimate now to learn more.
Clear Vents & Discharge Areas
As you clear yards and driveways of fallen leaves and other debris this fall, pay special attention to your heating intake and vents as well as sump pump discharge areas and be sure they’re free of obstruction. It’s also a good idea to test your sump pump at this time, or schedule your plumbing JK Precision Tune-Up so your JK Plumber can test operation and make sure it’s in good working order. We recommend at least 18” of clearance around outdoor units and standby generators to ensure they work safely all winter long. Continue to check in with your vents and discharge all winter long to make sure that snow, ice, or yard debris doesn’t block important areas.
Practice Emergency Preparedness
Are you prepared for winter storms and the potential for an extended power outage? If you’re in an area at risk for power outages or somewhere that could be isolated during bad winter weather, plan ahead with these emergency preparedness checklists and be sure you have plenty of non-perishable food, water, and medication on hand. If power outages are a concern for you or your family, now is also a good time to consider adding a whole home standby generator for peace of mind all winter long. Most municipalities take 15 business days to approve a permit for a generator, so don’t delay and schedule your complimentary estimate today.
Test Your Smoke & CO Detectors
After you’re done turning your clocks back when Daylight Savings Time ends on November 6th, test and check all the batteries in your smoke and CO detectors. While this is essential year-round, it can be especially important in the winter, when many homeowners have a higher risk due to combustion furnaces, space heaters, fireplaces, holiday baking, festive candles, and more. Play it safe and confirm that everything is in good working order, or consider upgrading to smart detector technology such as the Nest Protect system for extra peace of mind.,
As you prepare for winter, the heating, cooling, plumbing, and electrical experts at JK Mechanical are here to help. Contact us today for assistance.