As the winter months approach, it’s important that your HVAC and plumbing systems are equipped to handle cold temperatures. This means taking preventative measures to protect pipes from freezing and winterizing the heating system to ensure everything is running as it should. 

Professional HVAC technicians and plumbers in Bloomington, IL, can perform maintenance and conduct inspections, and you can also take some proactive steps on your own to ensure both systems are in working order before the temps drop below freezing.

How to Winterize Your HVAC System

For those of us living in colder regions, taking steps to winterize your heating system is essential in keeping your home warm and comfortable at all times.

Check Your Thermostat

Energy costs can skyrocket during the winter months due to the continual use of your home’s heating system, so the first thing to do is double-check the programming on your thermostat. Make sure it matches up with the amount of time you and your family spend at home. Ensuring that you have fresh batteries can also prevent the system from turning off due to interruption of communication between your system and the thermostat. 

Clean and Cover Air Conditioner

Exterior air conditioning units should be cleaned and covered prior to the first snowfall. Also, you’ll want to make sure to cover any exposed piping on the air conditioning unit with foam insulation. Covering the air conditioner will help keep it protected from snowdrifts and excessive ice buildup, which can melt and leak water into the unit.

Change Out Furnace Filters

You’ll also want to change out or clean your furnace filters to ensure they are free of dust and debris once you start utilizing your heating system. A dirty or clogged air filter can cause the furnace to work harder to heat the home, which in turn can lead to high energy bills. Dust can also flow through the ventilation system, resulting in poor indoor air quality. Making sure the furnace filters are clean and ready for winter is one of the most important steps to take when winterizing your heating system. Our thoroughly trained technicians are efficient in indoor air quality systems as well, you can always ask about ways to improve your overall air quality!

Remove Items Stored Near the Furnace

Flammable items such as paint cans and cleaning supplies that you may have stored near the furnace during the summer should be moved away from the heat source and into a safer area, such as the garage or a supply closet. It’s also a good idea to sweep the flooring around the furnace to remove any lingering dust or debris. If you have any boxes or books stacked near the furnace, don’t forget to remove these items as well.

Consider Installing a Wi-Fi Thermostat

If you’re a family of snowbirds and you spend the winter months in a warmer state, consider installing a Wi-Fi thermostat. These systems hook up to your home’s Wi-Fi network, and you can turn the system on or off and adjust temperature settings remotely from a smartphone or tablet. You can also set up alerts to warn you of any possible issues with your furnace.

How to Winterize Your Plumbing System

Cold weather can make your home’s plumbing more vulnerable to damage, with one of the most common issues being frozen pipes. Follow these tips on how to winterize home plumbing to help prevent emergencies during the cold months.

Cover Exposed Pipes

To protect exposed drain pipes from freezing, wrap each pipe in heat tape and foam insulation. Don’t use duct tape on outdoor pipes, as the adhesive can fail during extreme temperatures. Covering and insulating exposed pipes is essential in how to winterize home plumbing, as this simple step can significantly lower the chances of the pipes freezing and bursting.

Drain and Disconnect Outdoor Hoses

If you use outdoor hoses for gardening and other tasks, make sure to disconnect the hoses from outdoor faucets and drain out all the water. This can help prevent water from freezing inside the hoses.

Leave Faucets Dripping to Prevent Burst Pipes

While this step may sound strange, dripping faucets can actually help prevent pipes from freezing and bursting. It’s important to conserve water whenever possible, so only allow the faucets to drip when the outside temperatures drop below zero.

Locate Your Home’s Emergency Shut-off Valves

If a pipe does freeze or burst, or you’ve got another plumbing emergency, the emergency shut-off valves in your home are imperative if you want to avoid severe flooding. In most homes, the emergency shut-off valve can be found in the basement or a crawlspace that’s located by the water meter.

Mike Williams Can Help Winterize Your Home HVAC and Plumbing Systems

Taking the proper steps to winterize your heating system and ensuring your plumbing is well-protected during the winter season can help keep your home warm and comfortable and prevent heating and plumbing emergencies. If you have questions on how to winterize plumbing or need assistance with heating in Bloomington, IL, Mike Williams can help. We serve customers in Champaign, Springfield, Decatur, Bloomington & surrounding smaller cities and we offer residential repairs and installs. Contact us today for more information.

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