By now you've probably pulled the sweaters out of mothballs and found the gloves at the bottom of the coat closet, but is your home as ready as you are for the winter? Meteorologist Megan Krannig is here with the second installment of our special series Winter Weather Worries.
As winter closes in, there are a few things to check to help you and your family have a safe winter.
It’s been a while since the heater has been turned on, and it's a good idea to check a few things before you start it up. A good place to start is with the filter.
"The filter is the main thing on it because it's just like you trying to walk and breathe through a straw. Air conditioning and heating revolve around air flow. The more air flow you have, the more heating and more cooling you have, so it all revolves around that filter being cleaned and changed."
Old or new, heating and A/C professionals say the furnace needs to be checked yearly, but it's not the only thing that requires a little maintenance.
"Coming up in the attic like we are right now, looking at your burners, this furnace here is prime example of a furnace that will collect rust, so you need to pull the burners out, service that, blow out the pilot, most service techs have a carbon monoxide detector so you can check to see if you have carbon monoxide coming out of the furnace, check the vent and then you just have to light it and go from there," says Brad Sisemore of Sisemore Heating & Air.
Making sure there aren't any carbon monoxide leaks is very important.
"Carbon monoxide has no taste, no odor, anything. It’s what they call ‘the silent killer,’" Sisemore adds.
Every home should have carbon monoxide detectors. Brad Sisemore has been in the heating and cooling business for almost a decade.
He says a good location for the detector is anywhere by your furnace or in a central location of the house.
After checking the heating system, don't forget your pipes. Water inside pipes will expand when it freezes, and that can cause plenty of headaches, but there are some simple things you can do to keep that from happening.
"You can open up the kitchen cabinets and let some heat from the house get to the underneath of the cabinets, and keep under the cabinets warm," plumber Dan Williams says.
Experts suggest you go around the outside of your house and make sure the water hoses are disconnected and the faucets are covered.
If you don't- "The cold will travel up through the hose and freeze the pipe going underneath the house," Williams says.
By doing a few maintenance checks both inside and out you will save time and money, both things we all could use more of this time of year with the holidays just around the corner.