Keep Your House From Freezing
If you live in Minnesota you are well aware that winter is and has been loud and proud recently. Below freezing temperatures, cold air, ice, and snow make the warmth inside your house cozy and inviting. At least, that is, when your house is up to the task.
We have been experiencing a high volume of water damage jobs coming in with frozen pipes, or frozen houses for the matter, simply due to homeowners not servicing their furnaces and ductwork annually. The picture here of the frozen toilet is REAL! Amazing right? Imagine what a disaster that could cause if not caught before it unthawed?! Keep reading for a quick reminder to why this is so important especially when you live in Minnesota.
Winterizing your house isn’t only about staying warm, however. Winter is notorious for busted pipes, invading pests or furnaces that suddenly fail to function, for instance, but winterizing your home helps prevent such unexpected surprises. Additionally, a house that isn’t winterized will consume more energy, and energy costs continue to rise dramatically every year. Failing to winterize your house will progressively cost you more money on top of repair headaches.
Save more, worry less and stay comfortable by systematically checking your home’s condition and performing simple tasks around the property to ensure it is winter-ready. You can easily perform an effective, efficient weatherproofing job yourself over a weekend or two. Best of all, the work requires little investment beyond your time and perhaps a few basic supplies. Even the cost of additional insulation, if needed, pays off every time you open your utility bills.
- Check the house thermostat to ensure it works properly. Replace old thermostats with newer, programmable models that allow you to set a lower temperature while you are away or asleep and raise the temperature only when you need it. Lowering the temperature about 10 degrees for eight hours a day may save you up to 10 percent a year.
- Change your furnace filter. Always follow the recommended filter change schedule according to the furnace and filter type. This may vary from monthly to perhaps every six months.
- Check the furnace pilot light to see if it is lit. Turn on the furnace and blower to ensure the furnace ignites and completes a full cycle, from warming up to blowing heat and shutting off the blower again. Hire a professional to evaluate the furnace and determine if it operates safely and efficiently.
- Shine a light into your ducts to look for evidence of mold, pests or accumulations of dirt and debris. The EPA states that there isn’t yet enough evidence to suggest regular cleanings are necessary. Instead, clean ducts when moldy or excessively dirty. Consult a professional for more information and cleaning assistance.
- Inspect the heating ductwork. Look for holes and loose connections, tightening, taping or replacing pieces as necessary. Problem areas often occur where ducts meet the floor, ceiling or go through the wall.
- Insulate ductwork that runs under your house or through unheated areas. Special blanket insulation makes insulating around the ducts easy, simple work. The typical house loses about 20 percent of the air flowing through the ducts due to holes, leaks and loose connections. Factoring in heat loss through insulated ducts, the amount is likely even higher.
What would a discussion about winterizing your home be without mentioning the importance of having an emergency winter weather survival kit? If all else fails and you lose power, the sturdiest house won’t keep out the cold. Keeping supplies on hand to help you through a storm and power outage will help keep you safe. Gather a kit containing:
- A battery-powered radio, especially an NOAA radio or two-way device
- Two or three blankets
- Bottled water
- Seven days worth of non-perishable food and a can opener if needed
- Wine opener and plenty of wine (Kidding! Well not really but had to throw that in there!)
Should you experience frozen pipes, broken pipes or even an entire frozen house, 24Restore is the only call you will need to make. We will handle everything to help ease the stress for you and your family and get your home back to cozy and warm as fast as possible.
Continue to stay warm and safe Minneapolis! Warmer temps are in sight!
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