Winter is drawing closer to Kansas City, you should prepare your home for the upcoming cold temperatures, gusty winds and icy conditions. The maintenance that you perform now can help prevent emergency repairs in the middle of winter, when it can be more difficult to get supplies and find licensed contractors.
Following are four important things to focus on for this winter:
Your Heating System
Before the temperatures dip below freezing, take time for preventive maintenance. It will help extend the life of your heating system and could identify potential problems before your home turns into an icebox.
- Have your furnace checked and serviced by a licensed contractor on a yearly basis
- Replace the furnace air filter every 90 days
- Have your chimney checked and serviced by a licensed contractor at least once a year.
- Set your heat no lower than 55 degrees as the temperature inside the walls where water piping is located is colder than the living spaces and open doors to unoccupied rooms to keep an even temperature throughout the house.
Freezing temperatures can damage your home’s plumbing pipes causing pipe breaks, resulting in water damage to your home. Remember to take extra precautions if you go on vacation, including shutting off your water or maintaining heat in your home. Here are some tips to help keep your home leak free.
- Check for water leaks and fix problems immediately; wrap water piping in UL-Listed heat tape and insulate if it is exposed in unheated areas such as garages, crawl spaces or attics. Use only thermostatically controlled heat tape if your water piping is plastic and follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions.
- Learn how to shut off your water and know where your pipes are located in case they do freeze; you may be able to prevent water damage.
Your Winter Safety Measures
As you prepare for winter, follow these safety measures that are especially important during the cold season.
- Trim trees and remove dead branches so they do not damage your home or injure someone if they fall because of ice, snow or wind.
- Keep gutters clear of leaves and other debris to ensure melting snow can drain properly. Make sure downspouts direct water away from the foundation.
- Repair steps and handrails to make them safer in the ice and snow.
- Check smoke detectors, fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors and replace batteries to ensure they are operating properly.
- Make sure you have all of your ice melting supplies before a snow storm hits. Snow shovels, ice melt and window scrapers are hard to come by during and after the snow storm hits.
Winter Home Insurace Tips
Following these simple winter tips can not only keep your family safe, it can save you thousands in repairs to your home in the event of a water loss from freezing pipes, and liability from guests slipping and falling on your property during the holiday’s. Many insurance companies do not provide coverage if you go on vacation and fail to shut off your water or maintain heat in your home during the freezing temperatures. Also, many insurance policies do not cover maintenance to your heating systems if repairs are needed. Your best bet for a safe and happy winter season is to be prepared, do preventative maintenance, and make sure to take your safety measures seriously.