According the National Weather Service, Nashville winters typically account for an average total of 66 days with temperatures below 32-degrees. And with temperatures dropping, even an ounce of awareness and prevention saves time, money, and energy.
Here are five of our favorite tips for keeping a cozy and battle-ready home this winter:
1. Guard Against Frozen Pipes in Your Home
Cold temperatures can lead to problems with house plumbing, such as frozen pipes. Water expands as it freezes and pipes that aren’t properly insulated can burst or crack as a result. This can lead to extensive and expensive water damage throughout the home. Help in preventing frozen pipes by:
- Insulating your pipes throughout the home with pipe sleeves and wrappers.
- Allowing cold water to trickle when faucets are not in use, as moving water is less likely to freeze.
- Maintaining indoor temperatures above 55 degrees to prevent freezing.
- Leaving open your under-sink cabinet doors to provide pipes direct access to heated air.
- Watching pipes for bulging or poor water flow, as these may be signs of frozen pipes.
2. Warm Your Home with Complementary Solutions
When temperatures drop below 45 degrees, your HVAC system will begin to work extra hard at keeping your home warm. But you may be able to lower your thermostat this winter to take some of the burden off your HVAC by utilizing these secondary house-warming tips:
- On sunny days, use the warmth of the sun to help heat your home by opening the blinds. Conversely, when it’s overcast or evening time, use thick curtains to insulate and block the cold produced by your windows.
- After showering, open your bathroom door to allow the warmth to spread into adjacent rooms. The steam from the room will help soften the cold dry air that is typical of the season.
- Locate the switch on the body of your ceiling fan to reverse the direction it spins. Now when your fan is on, it will circulate the warm air that has collected at the top of your rooms to warm the whole room.
- Wear long sleeves and layers while inside your home. In addition, use more blankets, hot water bottles, electric blankets and even pets to keep warm. You know Fido wouldn’t turn down some extra cuddles.
3. Pay Attention to Dripping and Leaky Faucets
Drippy or leaky faucets may be an annoyance that only bothers folks in the middle of the night. But these events may be signs of serious damage to pipes that need attention.
Avoid water damage to your home and valuables — don’t ignore those leaky faucets!
- Know where your home’s main water shut-off valve is located.
- Contact your local plumber and schedule a repair to avoid further damage.
- Avoid chemical clog removers, as they can cause erosion of valuable components.
4. Conduct Routine Water Heater and HVAC Maintenance
Provide regular attention and prolong the life of your home’s system by giving them the proper attention and maintenance required. Failing water heaters and HVACs can happen at any moment, especially in older units, but will become a greater nuisance if it fails during cold weather. Avoid being caught without these important home systems with the following precautions:
- If you’re unfamiliar with water heater maintenance, schedule an annual maintenance inspection with a licensed residential plumber. You can also check the pilot light or electrical outlet to ensure proper functionality.
- Parthenon reommends having your HVAC system serviced twice annually in the spring and fall months. This is a preventive service to keep you from experiencing issues with your furnace when the temperatures outside drop. READ: 3 Reasons To Schedule Your Seasonal Tune-Up
5. Prepare Your Home Systems for Vacation
If you plan to leave your home for an extended period of time over the winter months, plan accordingly to avoid plumbing or HVAC-related disasters.
- To prevent freezing pipes, adjust your thermostat to maintain a steady temperature of 55 degrees.
- We say it often, and we’ll say it again, change your home’s air filters. Dirty filters lead to poor air flow that creates stress on your unit. Strain on your HVAC could cause it to overheat and fail. So much for maintaining 55 degrees!
- Shut off the main water valve to avoid flooding.
- Clean out gutters and put away water hoses to prevent any sitting water from freezing and bursting open.
For more information on winterizing your home, residential plumbing or HVAC, or for a free quote, contact Parthenon Plumbing Heating & Cooling. Call us today at 615-298-2995.