It is that time of year again in Colorado. We know it is when we turn on the heater in our cars in the morning and turn on the air conditioning in the afternoon. With temperatures that vary 30 degrees in a day, outdoor water spigots can expand and contract. This is why they tend to split, and this can lead to costly water damages.
We all got a good taste of COLD this last week. We know, the blizzard missed most of you, just giving you a couple inches (if anything) compared to the feet they got much further south, however, that was just winter’s appetizer. They are already predicting snow again later in the week, meaning we will have more before Thanksgiving. So we wanted to offer just a few tips to prep for the cold right now.
- Unhook your hoses. If you haven’t already, get out there and take the hose off the spigot. These have a tendency to freeze and split when the water turns to ice inside them and expands.
- Know where your emergency shut off valve is. Sometimes the spigot will have its own shut off, and sometimes you need to turn off water to the whole house. Know where it is.
- Tell neighbors and/or house sitters where your emergency shut off valve is. If you are going to be away from home when it is cold, have someone check your house and make sure they know what to do in case of an emergency. If you are gone the whole winter, consider winterizing your home.
We heard a story once of a neighbor who saw a sheet of ice on the driveway of the out-of-town neighbors, but no one else did. They knew a pipe had broken and the water froze on the driveway, lawn and sidewalk. Because the neighbor had a key, they were able to go in and shut off the water preventing additional damage.
- Blow out your sprinklers. Again, this should have already been done, but if you haven’t done it yet, do it now. A landscape company or handyman should be able to do this. I know it’s weird but it is one of the few water based things plumbers don’t handle.
- Check your furnace filter and replace it if needed. If you haven’t done a tune up, do it now, but know the wait may be long. If you wait until a cold day, your wait may be even longer- you aren’t the only one firing that baby up, so understand, you aren’t the only one calling for help. Do it as early as possible, before you really need it.
- Change the battery on your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. We usually tell people to check them whenever there is a daylight savings time change. That has come and gone too, so if you haven’t done it yet, get to it!
- Consider getting your ducts cleaned so when the furnace is blowing, it isn’t blowing dust and allergens into the air. Since your home will likely be sealed up during the cold months, you will want your air to be as clean as possible. It may be a good time to install an air purifier or even a humidifier to help with air quality as well.
- Finally, remember that if it is too cold for you to be outside, it is too cold for your pets. Keep them safe and warm by providing an adequate outdoor shelter, or let them have a doggy playdate with a dog sitter on bitter cold days. Keep cats indoors as well.
If Sunshine Plumbing, Heating & Air can help by answering any questions for performing service, please give us a call today!