Now that it’s January and in the middle of winter, temperatures are finally beginning to drop in Texas. It may not snow very often but it can get pretty chilly so it is important to take a few precautions to avoid a mess in the future. Here’s an important check list of things to do when it gets in the 30’s or below.
1. Protect Pipes from Freezing
Frozen pipes can burst which leads to costly repairs. Make sure to wrap any exposed outdoor pipes and if you know there is a major cold front blowing in, turn on your water to a trickle. Should a pipe burst make sure you know where the water shut-off valve is located so you can quickly turn off the water flow.
2. Have Your Fireplace Cleaned Out
Regular cleaning is a necessary safety measure for wood-burning fireplaces. Build up of creosote (from past fires) inside the chimney can potentially cause a house fire. Gas fireplaces should be checked too. Even though gas is a clean burning fuel, there could be an old nest or other debris blocking the chimney.
3. Keep Heating System Running Smoothly
Odds are you haven’t ran your heater for a while so if you notice strange noises or lack of heat flow be sure to check out the heating system. Last thing you want is to have a broken heater in 20-30 degree weather.
4. Check Batteries in Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors Monthly
In the winter we keep the windows closed and run the fireplace more often. Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have batteries and are running properly in each area of the home.
5. Stop Cold Air from Getting In
If you notice cold air coming in at a certain point in your home check the caulking around the doors and windows and anywhere something penetrates the wall, such as an outdoor faucet or air vents. Also check the weatherstripping on doors and windows. Another precaution is to seal any foundational cracks.