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Winter Plumbing and Heating Maintenance for your Home

Winter Plumbing and Heating Maintenance for your Home

Winter Plumbing and Heating Maintenance for your Home

During the winter season, the need for plumbing and heating maintenance increases as cold nights and freezing temperatures set in. While plumbing maintenance is important year-round, certain practices in winter can mean the difference between frozen pipes that burst and pipes that stay warm and flow smoothly. When it comes to home heating, maintenance is also important to keep your home warm and comfortable regardless of how cold it gets outside.

Plumbing

One of the main goals of winter plumbing maintenance is to keep pipes from freezing and/or bursting. This is one of the major issues homeowners deal with when temperatures drop, often leaving them with extensive water damage and costly repairs.

Outdoor plumbing

Start with outdoor plumbing that can affect indoor pipes. Disconnect and drain garden hoses, as well as all other outdoor connections. Close shutoff valves leading to outdoor faucets and drain the lines to eliminate the potential for freezing.

Indoor plumbing

  • Insulate Pipes: Pipes in unheated spaces that are vulnerable to freezing should be insulated with foam insulation, insulation tape, etc. Call a plumber for assistance.
  • Seal Air Leaks: In addition to insulating pipes, sealing air leaks that may expose pipes on outside walls to cold drafts is a good idea. Think the basement, crawl spaces, attic, and under cabinets in the kitchen or bathroom.
  • Open Faucets: In the event of a cold snap, a trickle of water left running can go a long way. The idea is that a faucet kept open alleviates the pressure that otherwise builds between ice formation within a pipe and a closed faucet. You may not keep the pipe from freezing, but this can keep it from bursting.

 

Water Heater

During winter, your water heater gets an extra workout, so it’s a good idea to give it enough time to recover and refill its tank to the temperature setting. Keep the temperature up as needed but don’t exceed 125 degrees to prevent scalding.

Heating

Heating maintenance should typically be completed in the fall before you need to turn on your furnace for the winter. Still, throughout cold weather months, your heating system will benefit from regular attention.

 

Clean Air Filter:

One of the most important components of a furnace is the air filter, which should be kept clean and clear of dirt and debris. It’s recommended that you clean or replace your air filter every couple of months to maintain heating efficiency and performance.

Schedule a Furnace Inspection:

A furnace inspection from an HVAC Technician helps to prevent many issues that cause a system to breakdown or perform poorly, including cracks within the furnace heat exchanger that can lead to dangerous gas leaks.

Raise Temperature:

When temperatures drop outside, make sure your thermostat is set at an appropriate temperature in your home for adequate heat, even when you’re away or asleep. This also helps to keep your pipes warm.

When you make plumbing and heating maintenance a priority each winter, you will be more likely to have a warmer, more smoothly running home during snowy days and frigid nights. A little maintenance can go a long way when it comes to keeping your home comfortable and keeping damage at bay.