Although the temperatures don’t reflect it here in Myrtle Beach, winter is here, it’s time to complete a few household tasks that are best dealt with before the cold weather and the days grow short — most importantly closing up your residence and get the HVAC system working efficiently to keep those wintertime heating expenses as low as possible
Do not wait too long. When cold weather and short days are here, you will not wish to find cold air blowing in through your windows — or from your heating unit.
1: Get the heating system in order. A great place to start is your thermostat. Set it to “Heat,” and turn it up to about 5 degrees warmer than room temperature level. If the heat does not come on and remain on until the room reaches the set temperature, either the thermostat or the HVAC system has an issue.
Replace the thermostat’s batteries first, then try again. If you fear the thermostat might be defective, this is a good time to replace it with a new programmable model that can lower your energy costs. If you know that the thermostat is working, or changing it doesn’t do the job, call an heating and cooling expert to check and service the heating system.
Make certain to change the air filters, which are normally situated in the units air handler which is usually located in the attic or in a closet or inside the return-air system. If you’re having a professional work on the system, they can to do this. Clean filters do not just mean cleaner air — they likewise help the system work more efficiently.
When checking on the flow of warmed air through the registers, ensure dampers or registers were not closed for the summer and that heated air can stream freely into rooms.
2: Prepare the fireplace. If your home has a wood-burning fireplace that you intend to utilize regularly, stock-up on fire wood and make sure the wood is secured from rain and pest free.
Next take a close look at the fireplace. Check of debris and bird nests by shinning a flashlight into the chimney from the inside of the fireplace. Then make sure the damper works, open it. Check the chimney walls. If they having a coating of creosote, a sap-like material that builds-up on surfaces, have the chimney cleaned by a professional chimney sweeper — creosote is highly combustible and can cause a chimney fire. While you are inspecting the chimney, check for any missing bricks, broken chimney flue tiles or crumbling mortar that needs to be fixed. Call Keystone General Contracting for repairs to the brick work or to install a new fireplace.
3: Safeguard water pipes. If you live where outside temperature levels can drop below freezing, secure water pipes that go across unheated spaces, such as an attic or crawlspace. To do this, you can buy affordable foam pipeline insulation sleeves at a home improvement center. These are sliced along their seams so you can merely push them onto pipes.
4: Stop drafts. Windows and doors must be weather-stripped to avoid drafts and energy loss. To weather-strip windows and doors, you have to keep them open for a while, so it’s best to do this work before the weather condition gets too cold. If a few of your windows and doors are not secured by weather-stripping, now is the time to seal them up. Purchase economical vinyl or foam weather-stripping and use it inning accordance with the label instructions.
Storm windows and doors can aid with lessening energy loss, too. If you have the kind of screen-and-storm doors that use interchangeable screen and glass panels, switch out screens for glass. Prior to installing the panels, check and tighten the clips that secure them. Also inspect and, if needed, adjust the cyclone door more detailed so that it pulls the cyclone door firmly shut without banging it.
5: Flush the water heater. When the weather gets cold, so does the water that travels through outdoor pipes to supply your hot water heater. As a result, the water heater needs to work longer to heat that very cold water. So water heater effectiveness is essential.
The very best route to keep a water heater working efficiently is to flush it once or twice a year. Mineral deposits build up over time and coat the bottom of the tank, minimizing the efficient transfer of heat from the burners at the base. Flushing out some of the water helps get rid of these deposits.
To flush a hot water heater, switch off the heat, either at the gas valve of a gas hot water heater or by shutting off an electrical hot water heater’s electrical power. Then shut off the valve at the cold-water inlet pipe, typically right above the hot water heater. Situate the faucet-like drain valve in the side of the water heater at its base, attach a garden pipe to it and run finish of the hose outdoors, terminating at a point that’s lower than the water heater. Switch on a close-by warm water faucet to allow air into the pipes system, and then open the water heater’s drain valve to flush sediment out through the hose pipe. Drain about 3 or 4 gallons of warm water up until it aims up being visibly clear, and then close the valve.
Reverse this process to refill and reheat the water heater. In other words, disconnect the tube, shut off the neighboring warm water faucet, switch on the water supply to the water heater and wait a few minutes for the water heater to refill. Then, for an electric water heater, turn the power back on, or for a gas water heater, switch on the gas and, unless it is a pilotless model, relight the pilot light.
Need help getting your home ready for winter? Call Keystone General Contracting today for a free consultation.
Keystone General Contracting LLC
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577