With the leaves changing colors and the winds of autumn in full effect here in Flagstaff and northern Arizona, you know that the winter freeze and cold are right around the corner. We get asked here at The Elite Team by clients and friends, “What is the best way to get your home ready for the winter cold?”
Here is a rundown of to-do items to make sure your home is warm, cozy and ready for the winter that is soon to be upon us:
Protect your pipes
Protecting your pipes can keep them from freezing during winter. Make sure your home is properly insulated! Pay particular attention to areas where pipes are located. Insulate unprotected pipes and don’t leave any gaps in the insulation. Pipe sleeves simplify the process. Keep the pieces tight against each other and seal the slits and joints with duct tape. Install heat cables or heat tape. Use cables/tape that is appropriate for your pipe and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation. Find your main water shut-off so you can turn off the water quickly if needed. Look for where the water supply enters the house, inside a water meter box directly outside the house or near the water heater.
Disconnect garden hoses from exterior faucets to prevent water from freezing in the hose and rupturing the faucet. Drain the hoses and, if possible, store them where they will be protected from cold weather. If your exterior faucets have cut-off valves, close them and drain the faucets. If they don’t, insulate them with foam faucet covers. If leaving on a vacation, open cabinet doors under sinks to let warm airflow around the supply lines.
Weather-stripping is a great product to install on your exterior doors and windows. This will prevent the cold air from entering the home and the heat from escaping through the crack under the door. You can find many different types of weatherproofing products for doors and windows at your local hardware store.
Inspecting your fireplace is a must before you start burning wood. You can call a local chimney cleaner here in Flagstaff, or you can do it yourself if you have the tools (chimney sweep). Also, check for animal nests that could have made your chimney cap home for the summer. Annual fireplace inspection and cleaning is a good practice before building fires this winter.
Most of the heat loss in your home during the winter months is through openings in your attic since heat rises. If you can get into your attic to check the layers of insulation and install more in spots, if necessary, this preventative step could save you down the road in energy costs.
Thermostat Some homes still have the older thermostats, but have you thought of upgrading to a programmable or even wifi compatible stat? This allows you to program and control the temperature of your home remotely. You can find these thermostats at your local hardware store, like HomCo Lumber & Hardware.
Saving on your energy bill If you have followed all the previous steps and want to see if you can save even more, APS offers a home energy check-up. If you go to APS.com and click on the save money and energy icon, you can choose a home energy check-up. There is a fee, but a local Flagstaff contractor will go through your home and give you a report detailing where you could potentially save more in certain areas regarding energy consumption.
As always the Elite team is here to help you with recommending contractors that we use in our homes as well. Don’t forget to let your friends and family know if you need help in finding a home here in Flagstaff and northern Arizona. Northern Arizona the Elite Team is ready.