January 30, 2015
Around the House: Wet Winter Preparations
It’s officially winter in Colorado; there’s snow on the ground, icicles hanging from rooftops and skiers out in the high country. It may be cold outside, but are you feelin’ the heat? 2014 was a warm year and according to the National Climatic Data Center, the month of December was the warmest December in the past 135 years. With the New Year in front of us, there are sure to be colder nights. Your furnace is most likely the main source of heat in your home and we want to make sure you’re feelin’ the heat inside your home with these helpful tips:
- Furnace filters are one of the most important items to have regular maintenance – the dirtier they become, the less air flow through the house – which can be dangerous. Applewood recommends changing 1-inch filters monthly and 4-inch filters, every six months.
- Maintenance of your furnace is a priority for winter months, as well as the area around your furnace. Remove any items stored near or on your furnace to avoid dust build up – often at times attics and crawl spaces are overlooked when cleaning around the house.
- Finally, check your burner’s pilot. This key feature keeps your furnace ignited. If your pilot is not lit or the flame has a yellowish tint, it might be time for an annual cleaning – and maybe even a replacement.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning is another possible danger if furnaces are not maintained. Be sure to check for any holes that may be on pipes leading into the furnace.
- Replace the batteries of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to be warned in case of emergency levels.
Electrical Wiring and Tools
- Outside lights are important for the safety of your house and also for yourself. Trim branches around the home to avoid outages and property damage that can lead to problems in the future.
- Keep outdoor extension cords, wiring and lighting clear of snow. It is important to make sure these items are clear of standing water, as at times the snow quickly melts.
- Check that all outside drains are facing away from the house – any water running towards your home can lead to flooding.
- Cover exterior faucets and turn off any outside plumbing that is not being used to avoid frozen pipes.
- Hot water heaters are important during colder months for a warm shower and even some older homes may have radiators as heat – drain radiator valves, or “bleed” the valves to ensure that you are receiving an optimal heat level. Applewood has licensed and trained professionals who can ensure your hot water heater is running properly for your safety.
Inside the Home
- Vacuum and clean all air ducts and vents around your house to increase air flow.
- Examine your windows and doors for any wear and tear that can be a problem on a snowy day. Replace any broken glass or rotting wood to keep you safe inside your home.
- Weather-stripping is also an important way to stay warm inside your home. Your home may need new weather-stripping if you feel a draft by any doorways or windows.
Any number of these factors may cause the heat to escape from your house; which can cause your furnace to work on overdrive. Humidity is one of the key ingredients to keeping heat inside your home- the more humidity inside the home, the more heat the inside air can hold. According to Consumer Energy roughly 40 percent of your total home energy goes towards heating. Smart thermostats can be beneficial to your comfort level and your wallet as they monitor humidity levels inside the home.
Applewood professionals can help you install a smart, programmable thermostat to ensure your family has all the heating bases covered. Call us today to speak to a specialist or to schedule an appointment.