Now is the Time to Prepare Your Home for the Winter!
by Craig Whitcomb
on Wednesday, September 28th, 2016 at 3:54pm.
Now that fall is upon us, it's time to do some home maintenance! As the air cools, it becomes drier, which can cause a number of problems in and around your home - separation in your trim work, soil contraction around your foundation and much more. To battle some of these problems, consider the following:
1) Service Your Heating System
Call your local HVAC expert to have your system serviced, and change your filters to clear out the dirt and allergens from the summer. Set your programmable thermostat on "Auto" so your system can make adjustments for temperature changes during the day. You may also find it helpful to have a humidifier in your home during the drier months.
2) Review Fire Safety Measures
Fires can start quickly in light of the dry, cool air. Clean out the vents around household appliances to reduce the risk of fire. Never leave space heaters unattended. And be careful of those Christmas trees!
3) Don't Forget the Outside of Your Home
Adjust your watering schedule to accommodate the changing weather. You normally don't need to water as much this time of year. As we start to get hard freezes, turn off your sprinkler and water manually to prevent burst irrigation pipes.
Always be mindful about monitoring the soil around your foundation. You may need to water that area as the soil begins to dry and contract. Use your sprinkler system or a soaker hose with the holes turned to the ground.
Clear your gutters of leaves and other debris.
Disconnect your hose from the hose bib to prevent the bib from cracking or breaking.
4) Special Tips for Freezing Weather
It doesn't happen often here in Texas, but when freezing rain and snow arrives, it is time for additional precautions!
Moving water cannot freeze, so turn the faucets on to allow a small drip. Open any cabinets along outer walls to allow the warm air from your home to reach the plumbing pipes.
Cover your outdoor hose bibs to keep them from breaking. You can pick up covers from your local hardware store, or create a cover by wrapping insulation around the bib, then surrounding that with a plastic bag, securing it in place with a heavy duty tape, such as duct tape.
5) Be Prepared
Keep a list of your preferred home maintenance professionals in a handy spot - HVAC, electrician, plumber, etc. - so you can contact them in an emergency. Check your home, inside and out, on a weekly basis to pick up any trouble spots.