Tips to Winterize Your Home and Save Money
If you want your house to be ready for winter, there are inexpensive ways to protect your valuables and save you money down the road. We want to provide a checklist that can aide you through the best preventative measures you can take before the winter conditions intensify.
If you are done using your grill for the season, it’s best to turn it off and disconnect the propane tank and store it individually. As the cold temperatures increase it may cause cracking in the propane tank, particularly if it’s still under pressure. We also suggest clean grates, flavor bars and grease trap by using a wire brush and soapy water. Try adding a bit ammonia to help eliminate excess grease if need be. You may also want to make sure you clean out any ashes underneath the grill as a result of trapping moisture to avoid unwanted rust throughout the winter season. Overall, covering your grill and storing it indoors is a great option but if you do decide to store it outdoors, make sure to wrap the burners in plastic bags to keep moisture out and cover the entire grill with a vinyl grill cover.
During the cold months of winter, we suggest at minimum to change or have your furnace filters inspected at least once a month. By having your furnace inspected by a professional, the cost tends to be approximately $150 but is worth the investment to schedule these monthly maintenance checks. It’s definitely worth the expense to get your ductwork cleaned and sealed properly and repaired by a professional to avoid loosing warm air due to leaks and/or poorly sealed connections within the ductwork.
Fireplaces and Chimneys
To make sure your fireplace and chimney are ready for the cold, we suggest a professional cleaning and inspection before lighting it due to safety and energy efficiency reasons. We recommend having this kind of inspection every two to three years if you tend to use your fireplace regularly. We want you to enjoy your fireplace this winter season but we also want you to be safe. To avoid water damage and possible hazard fires, we suggest filling cracks in around the chimney with a fireplace mortar product that you can find at any home improvement centers. You also want to make sure the damper is closed tightly when you are not using your fireplace to reduce any heat escaping up the chimney. If you don’t use your fireplace as often, you could buy a DIY chimney draft stopper which temporarily seals off the chimney to reduce both heat and air conditioning loss.
During this time of the year, it is important to know how your outdoor water pipes have been insulated. If they are insulated or made specifically for year-round use, the water system to them gets shut off, therefore the fixtures must be opened and properly drained before freezing temperatures set in. Similarly, in-ground irrigation systems for lawns and landscaping should be completely drained usually through a bleed-off value in order to avoid freezing. We also suggest checking and properly insulating any exposed pipes in crawl spaces as well as exterior walls of your home.
We hope you feel more prepared that your home is ready for the winter season and so is your wallet. Now it’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy your nice warm home .
Pharo Heating & Cooling is a full-service HVAC contractor in Madison. Our team provides top quality service for new construction and replacement furnace and air conditioner needs. For more information about annual furnace inspection or concerns, give us a call at 608-849-5410 or submit a contact form through our website.