Is your home ready for winter? Don’t worry, there’s still time! Now is the perfect time to start thinking about how to get your home ready for the coming winter months. From preparing the HVAC to clearing the fuel out of lawn equipment, there’s a lot to do, so we’ve developed a basic checklist to help guide you through the process.
Residential Winterization Checklist
- Seal up Cracks/Leaks: Caulk where necessary, replace any broken glass, and add weather stripping to doors that lead outside.
- Airflow Diagnostics: Howell’s Heating & Air can perform an Airflow Diagnostic and Balancing Test to help identify problems with HVAC equipment.
- Seal Vents and Other Openings: Otherwise, birds, rodents, and insects will make homes out of these warm spots.
- Replace Screens with Storm Doors/Windows: Inspect each window to make sure storm windows don’t have any cracks or holes.
- Inspect Roof & Gutters: Melting snow causes a slow steady stream of water, which can be more damaging than a sudden downpour. Fall is a good time to inspect the roof and make sure gutters are clear and draining correctly.
- Add Insulation: Over time, insulation loses its potency. If your home has old insulation, consider upgrading or adding more insulation. There is a federal income tax credit that expires December 31, 2016 and covers 10% of the cost (up to $500) for specific energy efficiency home improvement projects, such as adding insulation.
- Change Air Filters: It you want HVAC equipment to last, make sure the system has a clean filter during heavy use seasons like winter.
- Inspect/Service/Tune-Up Furnace & Heat Pump: Dominion is offering a $90 per unit incentive heat pump equipment maintenance tune-ups that expires at the end of December, 2016. Howell’s Heating & Air is a particpating contractor for this rebate. Contact us to learn more.
- Clear Leaves around HVAC: Remove leaves, debris, vines, and plants that could impede air flow.
- Bleed Valves on Hot-Water Radiators: If you don’t know how to do this, leave it to a professional.
- Drain & Flush Hot-Water Tank: This is a good time of year to drain & flush the metallic sludge that builds up in hot water tanks. Howell’s Heating & Air is able to help with maintaining water heaters, adjusting temperature settings, and replacing the system when needed.
- Clean & Inspect Chimney: If your family burns wood fires, it’s good practice to get annual inspections of all chimneys.
- Reverse Ceiling Fans: Be sure to clean the fans before switching directions to avoid a mess.
- Remove Hoses: Detach hoses from outdoor faucets and store for the winter.
- Drain Water from Outdoor Faucets: Turn off water at shutoff valves (which is usually located somewhere indoors). Head outside and open outdoor water faucets. Go back to the indoor shutoff valve with a bucket and remove the bleeder cap to drain remaining water.
- Clean Garden Tools: Give the lawn mower, weed-eater, and other garden machinery & tools a thorough cleaning.
- Weatherize Garden Machinery: Leaving gas inside small engines will wreak havoc. Run each item until all fuel lines are completely clear.
- Prep Generators: Give portable generators a quick test run. If something isn’t working, it’s easier to get fixed when the item isn’t needed. Make sure there’s plenty of fresh gas on hand. And if you’re tired of dealing with this hassle, Howell’s Heating & Air installs permanent home generator systems.
Bonus Tips for Staying Cozy This Winter
If you’re one of the many that look forward to getting cozy during winter months, check out the AutumnCozy account on Tumbler or try these simple tips:
- Curl Up Next to a Fire
- Stock the Kitchen with Cocoa, Tea, Coffee, and Cider.
- Break Out the Big Comfy Blankets
- Wear Oversized Sweaters with Thick Threading
- Invest in a Decent Pair of Slippers
Howell’s Helps Richmonders Prepare Homes for Winter
Have you scheduled your HVAC system tune-up? There's no time like the present. Now is the perfect time to schedule an HVAC maintenance inspection. The last thing you want is to have something go wrong in the middle of a snow storm, which could mean going days without heat.