Specializing in the San Bernardino Mountains
The heating system is perhaps the most critical element for a home in the winter. The following tasks will help you prepare it.
Often neglected is one of the most important components of a cooling system: the condensing unit outside that churns away in the heat of summer. This component needs a little attention as winter approaches.
Although largely ignored in warm weather, a wood-burning fireplace and chimney can be a major source of cold air leaks and other issues in winter. The chimney and fireplace need some inspection and service before winter sets in.
Water supply pipes are especially susceptible to freezing in cold weather, and burst pipes from freezing can cause some of the most expensive repairs in the home. Exposed drain pipes can also occasionally freeze, so it is important to systematically review the plumbing pipes in your home.
Major insulation upgrades aren't something to do hurriedly right before winter. A home that is in serious need of more insulation should be carefully evaluated to ensure a quality job. But there are some areas you can easily insulate to help prepare for winter.
Infiltration of cold air from air leaks around doors and windows is a significant contributor to your heating bill. An easy way to reduce your bill is to minimize these drafts with simple weatherstripping.
Do a quick check of the roof to prepare for winter. Either hire someone to inspect it if you are not comfortable doing this yourself, or inspect it yourself wearing well-fastened shoes with nonskid soles.
The sprinkler system should not be overlooked when preparing your home for winter. If you have a lawn service that handles this, have it come to drain and winterize the system no later than October. Winterizing a sprinkler system is also fairly easy to do yourself. It involves shutting off the water, draining the pipes, blowing them free of water, and then opening the vacuum breaker to allow air into the system. This prevents trapped water from freezing and cracking the plastic water lines.
How you winterize a pool and spa will depend on which type you have; an above-ground pool can require many different procedures than an in-ground pool. Have a pool maintenance person perform all necessary winterization procedures. If you do this work yourself, make sure to carefully follow the pool or spa manufacturer's recommendations for winterizing it.
You'll want to prepare your yard for winter, too. Follow standard Lawn and garden winterizing procedures, which entail care for the grass, flower beds, and other plantings. You'll also have to deal with outdoor furniture and other items.
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