Winter is fast approaching and this means heavier jackets, wind, rain and colder temperatures in San Diego. Below is a checklist that shows you how to winterize the various systems:

The Pipes

The temperature is rarely below 32 in Southern California, but you must know that plumbing is susceptible to freezing. Bust pipes can lead to extra expenses in the home. Here is what you can do to prevent pipe damage:

  • Insulate Exposed Pipes

If you have exposed pipes in an attic, crawlspace, or on the outside walls, be sure to insulate them with foam insulation. Start by wrapping them with electrical heating and tape them. Insulate switch plates and exterior outlets with cheap foam sealing gasket and cover your hot water tank with an insulating blanket. In cases where the fireplace is not used, it’s best to cover the space with fiberglass insulation.

  • Close Down the Water Supply

Leaving for holidays can be tricky especially if you don’t know what to expect when you get back. In case of leaks, the damage could be disastrous.

Windows and Doors

Windows and doors play a major role in your heating bill. If your windows and doors have space between them, it could lead to more cold air coming in and this leads to increased energy bills. Simple weather-stripping and covering these drafts could help lower your utility costs. Check if the windows have a gap, use an incense stick and watch the smoke trail. If you notice something else that’s not vertical, you have a leak. To close these gaps, use a cheap rope caulk.

Heating System

Check your thermostat and set it to 80 degrees. Warm air should start to blow after a few minutes and hear the furnace turn on. If your furnace is working fine, turn the thermostat back to its regular setting. Sometimes you may be able to fix it yourself or you may need to call a technician.

  • Furnace Maintenance

A do it yourself or having the furnace serviced is essential.

  • Air Filter

Replace your old filter with a new one if you haven’t done so in three months.

  • Heating Vents

Your heating vents could have obstacles. Ensure that the vents are cleaned to allow air to freely flow. The vents should be cleaned annually or have your service technician come in and do it for you.

  • Inspect for Carbon Monoxide Leaks

A battery operated alarm or a test badge can be used to detect carbon monoxide leaks. Invest in either of these units to ensure that your family is protected.

Air Conditioning

ACs are the most neglected components of a cooling system. However, your air conditioner needs more attention even as the colder weather approaches. Invest in an air conditioner cover to protect your unit. Also, clean the condensing unit of debris by using a spray head set to the highest pressure. If you have a condensing unit, cover it with a waterproof, breathable cover to extend the life of your unit.

Water Heater

Winter is the best time to maintain your water heater. A plumbing technician would help with this. With these tips, you can become a smart homeowner this year by preparing your home in advance and avoiding all the havoc the colder weather can bring to your yard and house.

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