Plummeting temperatures and the arrival of snow along with skiers and snowboarders flocking to local resorts tell us that winter is here in Northern Utah. With the arrival of cold weather each year, we need to take steps to protect one of our most important investments – our home.
Hopefully, you have already covered some of these items, but just in case, we’ve put together a checklist to make sure everything is covered and will be in good shape when spring arrives.
Sprinkler System – Sprinklers must be shut down, water turned off and lines blown out so no moisture remains. Most landscaping companies can do this for under $100.
- Hose bibs – Water must be shut off to all exterior hose bibs. Frost free hose bibs should be in place to ensure no freezing and cracking.
Heating & Air Conditioning
- A yearly cleaning and maintenance check of your furnace/heating system will ensure that your home is being heated safely.
- Change furnace filters at least every three months for optimal operation.
- Drain air conditioning pipes and shut off the water valve to the AC unit to protect from freezing.
- Program thermostats for day and night temperatures to save energy when you don’t need the heat as high.
- If you have ceiling fans, reduce the direction to clockwise so that warm air is pushed down and not trapped up near the ceiling.
- Make sure all furniture is away from heat vents. This is not only for efficiency but safety as well.
- If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector, head to the store and pick up one for each level. Smoke detectors should be operational on each level as well. If you haven’t changed the batteries in a while, do so now.
- Make sure all gutters are cleaned out from fall leaves so when snow or rain comes, it can drain off properly.
- If you have a snow melt system on your roof, make sure it is turned on for the season.
- Before using the fireplace, have the chimney cleaned and inspected for debris. Animals may have used it for a nest over the summer.
- Schedule wood delivery if you have a wood burning fireplace.
- Hire a local snow removal company for the season, or make sure you have proper snow removal equipment.
- Check to make sure the snow blower is working properly, and you have gas for it.
- Have shovels and ice melt on hand.
While You are Away
Will you be away for a few days? Is this your second home where no one will be there for a while? Keep the home warm enough to prevent freezing. If you have plumbing on an exterior wall, it might be wise to leave the faucet dripping just a bit if the temperatures are scheduled to drop below 10 degrees. If you have had a problem before, you may want to consider heat tape or other preventative measures. Check with a plumber for options to prevent a reoccurring problem. The snow and cold isn’t unique to Utah, so use these tips for a home in any climate where the temperature tends to drop below freezing. You’ll be glad you did.