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Fall Maintenance for Winter Prep

Handyman repairing bathroom pipes

Next week we see the beginning of the fall season.  Cooler weather, changing leaves, and the arrival of pumpkin spices and Halloween stores herald the approach of winter and the holidays.  The changing of the seasons brings an additional need for focus on your home.  Just as stores will begin swapping out their stock for holiday themed items, you need to start prepping your home for cold weather.  It’s more than just making sure you have plenty of pumpkin pie mix and candy canes, scheduling a furnace maintenance check and doing protecting your plumbing should take priority!

Piping and Plumbing Prep

Winter will be a rough time for your plumbing, but fall comes with its own problems.  Since you’ll likely be visited by friends and family throughout the next three months, the start of fall is the best time to prep pipes and drains for feasts and freezing temperatures.

First, disconnect and store any hoses that are outside.  Do your best to drain the water out of them.  The first time a cold snap hits, these hoses will freeze and are likely to crack if the water expands too far.  Once they’re been stored properly, wrap any outdoor piping in insulation or blankets to protect from future freezing temperatures.  Once the first cold snap arrives, find the interior shut-off valve for your outside faucets and disconnect them (don’t forget to drain them too).

Perform a leak inspection in your home.  Look for signs of water damage, listen for leaks and drips, and check for pooling water.  If you find any signs of a leak, call a plumber to have the pipes repaired immediately.

Drain and clean your water heater. Water heaters typically work harder during the winter as they attempt to deliver constant hot water in a colder environment.  A regular draining and cleaning removes sediment and debris, allowing for better fuel efficiency and constant hot water.  While you’re at it, have the pressure relief valve checked as well.  Don’t forget to make sure that your water heater thermostat is set to 120°F as well!

Take the time to clear and clean drains if possible.  With people coming over, smelly drains or stopped up plumbing is the last thing you want to be dealing with in a crowded space.  Take the time to review what should and shouldn’t go down drains and disposals, and save yourself the heartache of a clog or stopped drain mid-celebration.

Keep your rain gutters clean!  All the water on your roof needs to go somewhere.  Whether it’s a little fall shower or the melting of snow at winter’s end, keeping your gutters clean is important!  It’s nasty work, but fixing a roof and insulation water damage (or replacing your gutters) is even worse.

Furnace Prep

Fall is the best time to get your furnace inspected.  It’s a change to make sure that the system is working, cleaned, and repaired if there’s something wrong.  By scheduling early and getting your annual furnace maintenance done, you’re much more likely to avoid costly repairs during the winter.  Plus, if something is wrong, you can have it fixed and repaired before cold weather hits.  A full maintenance should be performed by licensed professionals and include:

  • Fuel Line Inspection
  • Exhaust Cleaning
  • Blower Fan Cleaning
  • Thermostat Inspection
  • Pilot Light Check
  • Air Filter Replacement
  • Ventilation Inspection
  • Condensation Line Cleaning
  • Furnace Cleaning
  • Smoke and CO Detector Testing
  • Home Leak Tests

A well-maintained furnace is far more likely to last without trouble than an untouched unit.  Many of the warranties also require annual maintenance to be valid.  Schedule early and be ready for when colder temperatures arrive!

Metro Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning is the service company you want!  Call us today at (423) 616-1025!

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