Winterizing tips to help you save money.
It’s that time…winter is coming and there are things we can all do to prepare for the inevitable. Often it’s easier to sort things out before the weather gets bad; no one wants to be dealing with outside maintenance when it’s 10 below and blowing a gale.
So, in the interest of the 6Ps – Proper Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance – here are a few ideas:
• Shut off your outside faucets.
Each outside faucet will have its own inside valve. Find the inside valve and close it by turning it clockwise (righty tighty). Once you’ve closed the valve, go outside and open the faucet. Now go back inside and open the drain cap that is located next to the valve. Allow the water to fully drain into a bucket and then close the drain cap – be careful not to over tighten. Finally, go back outside and close the outside faucet. That’s it…the faucet is good for winter! Repeat this process for all your outside faucets.
• Check your storm windows and doors.
Storm windows and doors may need a lick of paint after last year, but they may need no more than a quick wipe down and hanging in place.
• Clean the chimney if needed.
Chimney sweeps are always in high demand at this time of year so if you think you’re due for a clean, call now to get on the schedule, and remember to shut the dampers when you’re not using the fireplace – an open damper will suck the heat right out of a room.
• Do you have a generator?
Get the generator tuned up and ready to go, and make sure you have enough propane to keep the generator running when you need it.
• Store some water.
If you use well water make provisions for storing some in case of power outage. There are few things worse than not being able to flush toilets for days, but if you have a few 5-gallon buckets filled with water ahead of time, it can keep you in flushes for a while!
• How is your heating fuel level?
Need more? If you’re on automatic delivery, no need to worry! But if you’re on will-call make sure you don’t leave it to the last minute – an emergency delivery will come, but it’.
• Check the sump pump.
If you have a basement that floods, make sure the sump pump is working before it is needed. Ensure that it’s plugged in and that the outlet is working. Check that the pump hasn’t fallen over or become tilted. Pour a bucket of water into the pit – if the water is pumped out automatically and quickly then you’re good to go. If not…time to call someone out to service it.
• Organize an emergency box for power outages.
Here are some ideas of things to keep in it: flashlight(s), batteries, candles, matches, a propane camp stove, a hard-wired telephone that requires no power, the emergency numbers for your service providers, a solar-powered charger for your cell phone, the name of a friend with town water (so when your well water’s not running, you can go to theirs for a shower!). And don’t forget, if you think there might be a power outage, charge up your cell phone before the electricity dies.
• Replace thermostat batteries.
If you have programmable thermostats in the house, when did you last replace the batteries? Not all programmable thermostats use batteries, but if they do, it’s as well to change them at least once a year.
• Clean your radiators
…or the fins on your baseboard heaters to improve their efficiency. Baseboards and radiators attract and cling to dust, dust that reduces the system’s efficiency. Get a vacuum and clean them thoroughly…once cleaned, you can keep on top of things with a feather duster.
As always, if you have questions about the home energy solutions offered by Lamprey Energy, please reach out to us directly at 603-964-6703.