Posted on: December 6, 2016
By: Alan O'Neill
Posted in: Announcements, Energy Saving, Heating, Local News, Video Tips
‘Tis the season to get your home prepared. That’s why Gina Brown is taking precautions now, before it’s too late.
“We have had problems in the past, not with heating but with bursting pipes and things like that,” Brown said.
Whether you’re hiring a pro, or doing it yourself, there are a few things you need to do now.
Thomas Moreno with Abacus Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electrical said, “We start getting a lot of calls, from people that want to do preventive maintenance and just want to beat the freeze.”
He advises homeowners to go around and inspect their pipes. If the wrapping is disintegrating, or not covered at all, this is the week to take action.
“The basic tool that you’ll need is just the foam insulation. Duct tape or electrical tape, and a box cutter to cut the insulation,” Moreno said.
If the conditions are right, exposed pipes could freeze. So you want to make sure they’re covered. Besides the main water line, a foam housing can be used to cover exterior water spigots. Also, make sure your irrigation system is protected.
Moreno says it’s best to drain the sprinkler system. The metal housings are most vulnerable in cold weather if left exposed. “It will ultimately freeze the PVB that’s brass, and that will crack and leak everywhere.”
Moving indoors, when was the last time your heating system was serviced?
According to HVAC tech Matthew Lynskey, “The worst time for a system to go down would be of course during the holidays or a really cold night.”
He says you should have your heating system serviced once a year.
“I’m looking for the temperature between the air that’s coming in and the air going out — make sure we have complete combustion,” Lynskey explained.
Carbon cleaning and safety checks are also performed, which is why it’s advised to call in the pros for this type of work. Bottom line, prep now so you won’t have to pay more down the line.
Homeowner Winter & Home Safety Checklist
Following are some of the most common and important preventative maintenance “to do’s” every Houston homeowner should do to keep their home safe and warm.
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Systems
Test your furnace now, before the extremely cold air arrives. It’s always recommended that you hire a state licensed HVAC company to conduct the inspection. And you should look for a contractor who is accredited and in good standing with the Better Business Bureau. Check their ratings and reviews as well. Your furnace inspection should include:
When you turn the heat on in your home for the first time, expect a slight burning smell from the accumulation of dust that burns off coils. This smell should dissipate within a few minutes. If it does not, or if you notice an increase, call 911, as there may be an electrical problem.
Beyond fire danger, that build up in the furnace can block air flow, causing potentially high levels of carbon monoxide.
HVAC Energy Efficient Upgrades:
-If you have an older thermostat, replace it with a programmable unit to save on heating costs both during the winter and summer
-If your attic insulation is 10 years or older, consider having it replaced with blown-in insulation and consider radiant barrier to dramatically lower heat loss during the winter and heat gain during the summer.
Keep three feet of clearance around your furnace:
Change Your Air Filter(s)
The filter is basically the lifeblood of any cooling or heating unit so don’t put off replacing it, which you can do on your own. It’s recommended that you change a 1-inch filter about every 30 days. Higher quality filters can stay in the system for about 6 months.
The two most common problems in the home during the winter are fire hazards and carbon monoxide leaks.
Windows and Doors
Outdoor Winter Checklist for Homeowners