Is Your Home Ready for a Colorado Winter?
Is Your Home Ready for a Colorado Winter?
Here is a list of 10 simple ways to get your home ready for the cold season ahead!
Blow-out your sprinklers
As soon as that colder weather starts to hit, and a big freeze is on the forecast, you should begin thinking about carrying out winterization for your sprinklers. Of course, you should always rely on experts to do your sprinkler blowout, but preparation for it can be carried out by you if your blowout isn’t scheduled just yet.
You simply need to:
- Turn off the water
- Open the test cocks on the backflow preventer so that the screws are at a 45-degree angle
- Turn the large valves to a 45-degree angle.
- Use the controller to run a quick cycle.
- Cover the backflow preventer with a cover that can protect and insulate.
From here, sprinkler experts can carry out your blowout process to ensure your sprinkler system will make it through the colder winter months ahead.
What happens if I don’t winterize my sprinkler system?
If you don’t winterize your sprinkler system, you could be in for several hundred dollars’ worth of damage. The process of blowing out your sprinkler ensures there is no water left in the pipes. Failure to remove this water can result in it freezing, expanding and eventually cracking or breaking your irrigation system. On the extreme scale, those cracks that were previously held together by ice, can thaw, and water can begin making its way into your home. It’s a dangerous lesson to learn, and it’s certainly a mistake you wouldn’t make twice.
So, when is the right time to winterize your sprinkler system? Right now. Don’t delay in calling in the professionals to put your system to rest over the winter months. Winter is coming, and time is running out!
Identify and fix any drafts around your doors and windows
- Use Weatherstripping
- Install New Sweeps
- Use Foam Tape
- Apply Rigid Foam Insulation And Foil Stripping
- Apply Window Film
- Hang Insulated Curtains
- Use A Door Snake
- Re-Caulk Your Windows & Doors.
Caulk your windows, both inside and out. (Did you know that simple leaks can sap your energy efficiency by 5 to 30% every year?!)
Although not a high-tech operation, caulking can be tricky. Read and follow the instructions on the compound cartridge, and remember these tips:
- For good adhesion, clean all areas to be caulked. Remove any old caulk and paint, using a putty knife, large screwdriver, stiff brush, or special solvent. Make sure the area is dry so you don’t seal in moisture.
- Apply caulk to all joints in a window frame and the joint between the frame and the wall.
- Hold the gun at a consistent angle. Forty-five degrees is best for getting deep into the crack. You know you’ve got the right angle when the caulk is immediately forced into the crack as it comes out of the tube.
- Caulk in one straight continuous stream, if possible. Avoid stops and starts.
- Send caulk to the bottom of an opening to avoid bubbles.
- Make sure the caulk sticks to both sides of a crack or seam.
- Release the trigger before pulling the gun away to avoid applying too much caulking compound. A caulking gun with an automatic release makes this much easier.
- If caulk oozes out of a crack, use a putty knife to push it back in.
- Don’t skimp. If the caulk shrinks, reapply it to form a smooth bead that will seal the crack completely.
Replace Your Furnace Filters
The following schedule is typical for most filter changes:
- 1″ Furnace Filter: 1 – 3 Months
- 2″ Furnace Filter: 1 – 3 Months
- 3″ Furnace Filter: 6 – 9 Months
- 4″ Furnace Filter: 6 – 9 Months
- 5″ Furnace Filter: 9 – 12 Months
- 6″ Furnace Filter: 9 – 12 Months
Clean Your Fireplace
Both gas fireplaces and wood burning fireplaces should be professionally inspected and cleaned at least once a year to prevent a fire and carbon monoxide. … Creosote is the leading cause of house fires caused by wood burning fireplaces. Even a small amount of creosote can do a lot of damage.
Clean Your Gutters
It’s typically recommended to clean your residential gutter systems at least once every six months. … If your gutters are clogged with debris, freezing temperatures and precipitation can cause ice dams, which can in turn cause significant damage to your home.
Protect Your Outdoor Plants
Lay a layer of 6 to 8 inches of wood chips or straw over perennial and flower beds. Protect outdoor plants in winter with screens or frames erected on the southwest side and make sure to water before a freeze. Wet soils prevent freeze injury to roots because moist soil holds more heat than dry soil.
Insulate Your Pipes
A frozen garden hose can cause more damage than a busted hose; it can actually burst an interior pipe. When the water in the hose freezes, it expands, increasing pressure throughout the whole plumbing system. As part of your regular seasonal maintenance, garden hoses should be disconnected, drained, and stored before the first hard freeze.
If you don’t have frost-proof spigots, close the interior shut-off valve leading to that faucet, open and drain the spigot, and install a faucet insulator. They cost only a couple bucks and are worth every penny. Don’t forget, outdoor kitchens need winterizing, too, to prevent damage.
Install a Smart Thermostat
Today’s smart thermostats aren’t just control panels for your heating and air conditioning. These thermostats are equipped with Wi-Fi, sensors, advanced algorithms and much more. Here’s how those new features benefit you as a homeowner, and why you should consider upgrading to a smart thermostat of your own.
- Saving Money on Energy Bills
- Movement Sensors
- Long-Term Learning
- Remote Control from Your Phone
- Smart Thermostat App-Based Scheduling
- Tracking Energy Use
- Better Temperature Visibility and Controls
- Compatibility with Other Smart Devices
- Voice Commands
- Energy Profiles
Reverse your ceiling fans to clockwise. (keep that warm air right where you want it!)
The airflow produced creates a wind-chill effect, making you “feel” cooler. In the winter, reverse the motor and operate the ceiling fan at low speed in the clockwise direction. This produces a gentle updraft, which forces warm air near the ceiling down into the occupied space.
Information gathered from multiple sources including, 360dwellings, energystar and houselogic.
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