Winter home maintenance & Plumbing tips
The best defense to ensuring your HVAC and plumbing systems are running properly is to schedule annual maintenance inspections, and keep on top of your systems before it’s too late, or when you need them most. In between checks, there are some things you can do to keep your heating and cooling units, as well as your pipes in great shape. Here are some winter home maintenance and plumbing tips for cool weather:
- Avoid frozen pipes. Watch your water pressure this time of year because the first sign of a frozen pipe is restricted water flow. If you notice this, be sure to act quickly and call a professional.
- Let cold water trickle from your faucets, slightly smaller than a pencil’s width, during the evening when the temperature is the coldest. This helps prevent freezing as moving water does not freeze.
- Garden hoses can cause major damage if not disconnected. During cold snaps, if a garden hose is left connected, ice will form and pressure will build up in the water lines inside your home. Once this occurs, a water line leak or break is common and can cause severe damage to the home. One of the easiest plumbing tips: disconnect garden hoses and drain outdoor pipes to prevent damage during the winter.
- After disconnecting hoses, you should install an exterior, insulated faucet jacket. This will protect your outdoor faucets, as well as the connecting lines running into the home, from freezing temperatures.
- Also, be sure to utilize the shut-off valves located inside your home to drain water from pipes leading to outdoor hose bibs. These valves can typically be found under sinks, in crawl spaces or basements, near your water heater or your meter, but every home is different and some homes may not be equipped with these valves.
- Circulating warm air helps keep pipes in the walls from freezing. Keep your house temperature above 55° to prevent pipes from freezing and open cabinet doors under sinks and faucets and near exterior walls to help circulate warm air and keep pipes warmer.
- One of the more simple winter home tips is to close crawl space vents and garage doors, especially if your water heater is in the garage.
- Check to be sure that snow is not restricting your water drainage. Watch the area around your sump pump discharge line used to avoid flooding indoors, as this line drains from a basement to an outside area. If the drainage area is blocked by snow or flowing into a puddle, freezing could occur as well as water backing up into the house.
Take charge of your winter home maintenance with these tips to save you time and money. Contact your local ARS®/Rescue Rooter® HVAC, plumbing, and sewer/drain specialists today for repairs or to get your home systems ready for winter.