Winter can be brutal to your home and—without preparation—the damage can be costly to repair. That’s why knowing these southern home winterization tips can help. If you are unsure when to winterize your home, the best time is a week before the first frost is expected. While the list of things to do can appear endless, if you take it step-by-step, preparing your home for winter can be a breeze.
How to Winterize Your HVAC System
Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system keeps your home comfortable all year round, but before winter sets in, it’s important to give it some maintenance and make sure you are ready for the season. The last thing you want is to have your heater malfunction midway into winter, leaving your home cold until it can be repaired. Here are some tips for winterizing your HVAC system.
- Have your HVAC inspected and cleaned before the start of the season, and you’ll get a heads-up on any issues and be able to fix problems before they leave you in the cold.
- Replace your HVAC filter to keep the air free of dust and allergens and to prevent your heater from having to work too hard.
- Ensure your outdoor air conditioning unit is turned off to prevent it from kicking on for a warm day in midwinter. The condensation can quickly freeze when the temperature drops, causing severe damage to the coils.
- Clean around your AC unit to discourage critters from nesting in it and insulate any exposed pipes before covering the unit for winter.
- Have your ducts inspected and insulated to reduce heat loss as the warmed air is forced through the ducts. The inspection also brings any damage that needs repair to your attention.
How to Winterize Your Home Plumbing: Step-by-Step
Keeping your HVAC system running smoothly not only keeps the house cozy but can also prevent your pipes from bursting. If you are leaving a vacation home for the winter or you will be away from your home for a few months heading into winter, you will want to winterize your home water pipes to avoid severe damage.
- Close the main water valve.
- Open the drain valves on all outlets.
- Force excess water out of pipes with an air compressor.
- Open the drain to your central holding tank and hot water tank. Because some tanks don’t have drains that run all the way out, you may need to attach a hose to remove the water.
- Flush toilets to remove excess water.
- You can use the drip method if you are only away for a brief time. To do this, leave your faucets running on a drip. Keeping the water flowing helps prevent freezing.
- Set your thermostat around 55 degrees Fahrenheit at the lowest to avoid freezing your pipes.
- You can also insulate your pipes with foam or add heat tape.
- An emergency release may also benefit you. Having this installed automatically releases pressure and prevents bursting pipes even in the event of freezing.
How to Winterize a Mobile Home
[A3] In addition to the tasks we’ve already touched on for your HVAC and plumbing, if you have a manufactured home, there are some other elements you will also want to consider.
- Apply skirting. Manufactured homes have gaps around the base of the building that can leak warm air and can fill with snow or ice, adding the concern of water damage come spring. Applying metal, vinyl, or plastic skirting helps prevent the buildup and keeps warm air inside.
- Insulate the marriage line. When new, the silicone line joining the two units of a double-wide is already insulated for weather. However, as the unit ages, or when it is moved, the line can become stiff and crack, allowing chilly air and water damage to creep in. Reinforcing the line’s insulation will help keep your home cozy.
- Ensure the underbelly is intact and undamaged. The sheet enclosing the bottom of your mobile home is important for preventing water damage from ground moisture absorbing into your home. It also keeps rodents from making nests inside. Above the underbelly, there is also a blanket of insulation that needs to be replaced or repaired if the underbelly is damaged or missing.
Prepare Your Carolina Home for Winter
Taking a bit of time and effort to prepare your home for winter can save you on repairs, replacements, and even heating costs. If you need a hand preparing your home for winter, our Five Star professionals have you covered. For Greenville County HVAC and plumbing services you can trust, schedule service online or give us a call at 864-306-4898. [A5]