It’s Time to Winterize Your Home
With the cold weather approaching, we offer some very basic tips in order to winterize your home by keeping it warmer and lowering your gas bill.
- Disconnect garden hoses from frost-proof sillcocks. The garden hose will trap water in the sillcock preventing it from draining and allowing it to freeze and break.
- If you don’t have a frost-proof sillcock, after disconnecting the garden hose, make sure to turn off the supply valve inside the house supplying water to the sillcock. Then leave the sillcock in open position to allow it to drain.
- Winterize or seal off drafty windows and patio doors with clear plastic.
- Insulate the hot water lines around your water heater and lower the temperature of the water heater to around 120°F).
- Wrap any hot water pipes that run through unheated areas of the house. Also, you can insulate cold water pipes to help prevent them from freezing during the winter.
- Try replacing the weather stripping around the doors in your home.
- Uncover all south-facing windows to let all possible sunlight in your home.
- Keep all baseboard heaters clean.
- Reverse the direction of ceiling fans to push hot air downward and delay it from escaping the house.
- Check windows for leaks. Windows with wooden frames often warp and become inefficient.
- Caulk both sides of the trim around your windows. This is an area where a lot of air can get in.
- Avoid using space heaters to heat large areas of your house.
- Winterize or remove any window unit air conditioners.
- Keep all closet doors closed when possible. There’s no need to heat space that is not in use as long as it doesn’t contain water pipes.
- Try to use the clothes dryer for consecutive loads of laundry. This conserves the energy that would be needed to heat up the dryer several times.
- Replace the caulking around any bathtubs or showers.
- If your home has folding attic stairs, consider winterizing or insulating the door with a cover of some sort.
- Check the seal on the bottom of your sliding glass doors to make sure they aren’t letting in cold air.
- If your water heater needs upgrading, consider installing an Energy Star rated heater.
- Use the oven for baking during colder hours of the day to help heat your home.
- Make sure that there are not any drafts coming in under doors. If there are, winterize by using a rubber strip to seal them off.
Boiler system heating
If your heat is a boiler system:
- Winterize by cleaning your boiler – a dirty heat exchanger will not transfer heat efficiently sending most of the energy and your money out the chimney.
- Have your boiler tuned up – by adjusting the boiler with a combustion gas analyzer and servicing pumps, zone valves mixers and other system equipment, your boiler heating system will run more efficiently which could present serious cost savings.
- Upgrade your boiler to a new high-efficiency mod/con boiler. These boilers are up to 96% efficient. They will save money on your gas bill.
- Do you have an outdoor reset installed on your boiler heating system? This allows your system to adapt to the weather and save energy when maximum output is not needed (most of the time).
- Winterize your boiler system by having it checked to see if additional zones/thermostats can be installed. This way you can keep rooms less used cooler while having your major rooms that are used more during the day warmer.
- If your boiler is more than 20 years old, there is a good chance that it wastes a lot of fuel. Consider upgrading to a newer one.
- Install a programmable Energy Star thermostat that will lower the temperature at night and when no one is at home.
- If you are replacing your driveway or sidewalks, winterize them by installing Hydronic Radiant snowmelt for convenience, safety and protect your new paver or concrete drive/sidewalks.
If you have any questions for your plumbing, hydronic heating or snowmelt systems, please call Quality Plumbing Services Inc. at 847-259-0200 or visit our website at www.qualityplumbingchicago.com.