Monday, October 13, 2014 / by Ken Couture
Winter is not quite here but it is the perfect time to prepare for it. Once the cold weather strikes you probably won't want to do any preparations, and it could cost you in higher heating bills and homeowner insurance claims. By following a few simple tips and setting up a schedule for yourself you can ensure that you are ready for winter.
Plumbing tips for keeping pipes from freezing
Homeowner insurance claims for frozen pipes, and damage caused from pipes freezing tripled nationally a few years ago. These claims can be very pricey and very stressful for you and your family. There are a few very simple things you can do to prevent frozen pipes.
· Disconnect outside water hoses, make sure the faucets are turned completely off and there are no leaks. Call a plumber if you find leaks or damage. You may have shut-off valves inside for the outdoor faucets, turn them off and drain any excess water from the faucet. Finally, cover with a faucet insulation kit.
· Use insulation or heat tape on any exposed pipes in unheated areas.
· Keep your thermostat set at 55 degrees or higher during the winter to prevent freezing.
· Check your water heater to see if it needs drained of buildup. Set the water temperature at 120 degrees.
Preventative maintenance for winter in Las Vegas
· Clean sump pit. Add a bucket of water to ensure that the pump comes on and pumps out the water.
· Check your attic for proper ventilation for the furnace.
· Check for any water damage around the bathroom and laundry room walls and floors.
· Seal up any holes or cracks that would allow heat out and critters to come inside.
· Schedule a furnace inspection and cleaning.
· Clear any debris and leaves from gutters. Inspect gutter and downspouts for damage.
· Remove screens and install storm windows.
· Clean out the dryer and kitchen exhaust ducts for more efficiency.
· Inspect roof for loose shingles, or hire a contractor to do an inspection.
· Winterize your pools and hot tubs if you have them.
Setting up a seasonal maintenance schedule will help you ensure that you do these tasks regularly before something catastrophic happens. This schedule ideally would be 2-4 weeks before the seasons change in Las Vegas. Keep a list of what you should check and the results for each season with the dates, so that you know when you last completed it. This helps you to remember if you need to do repairs in the near future as well.
Reducing your energy usage and waste will definitely save on your winter heating bills and can carry throughout the year in additional savings. Keeping your home maintained and cared for will make it last longer and help to alleviate high repair or replacement costs.
Las Vegas is a great place to live or for extended visits. If you are in the market for buying or selling a home please visit my website or contact me by phone, (702) 610-6247.