Fall is about to blow into Haverhill, Massachusetts, which also brings an annual reminder to do some seasonal home maintenance. Nothing is worse than having your heat cut out when winter rolls around. So, why not take the time now to check in on your furnace, prepare your pipes, or just have a professional come do a home checkup. It can mean the difference between a comfortable winter and a chilly winter. To help you prepare, the team at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone has put together this list of common problems to watch out for this fall, as well ways to make sure your house stays safe and ready for winter.
Problem: Frozen pipes
When temperatures drop to extremely cold levels, there’s a serious freezing risk for your water pipes. This can lead to blockages (which can create poor water flow), water that is harder to heat, and most dangerous, bursting water pipes. Frozen water pipes can cause more than just inconvenience, they can cause expensive damage to your home.
Solution: Insulate pipes
Protecting your pipes is the easiest way to prevent frozen pipe issues. Make sure to insulate any pipes that are in non-heated areas. This doesn’t include only those pipes that are outside your home. A crawl space or garage is an area that can present freezing risks to water pipes. Not sure how to best insulate your water pipes? A professional plumber can help best identify pipes that are at risk for freezing and help insulate them.
Problem: Poor room heating
Your furnace and boiler systems have likely been inactive all summer. When fall and winter come along, the sudden strain put upon your heating system can often make it prone to sudden breakdown. While many problems could be minor, continued stress on an already malfunctioning heating system could lead to complete furnace failure.
Solution: Help your heater get up to speed
There are a number of ways to reduce the strain on your furnace while still making your home comfortable as the days get colder. Simple steps include setting your thermostat to 68°F when you’re at home and awake, and as low as 60°F when you’re asleep. Smart thermostats can take the guess work out of scheduling efficient temperatures with set-it-and-forget-it programming. Replacing your air filter on a regular basis will also keep ducts clean and allow your furnace to work more efficiently. Sealing air leaks around doors, adding weatherstripping around any drafty windows, and checking insulation quality in your attic are other ways to make sure that your heater isn’t working harder than it needs to. If your home still isn’t getting the kind of heat you need from your furnace, a home HVAC professional can diagnose any problems your furnace is dealing with and help you identify the best ways to get back to comfort.
Problem: Water heater breakdown
Just as your furnace will be called to do extra work during the colder months, your water heater will also have to work even harder during the long winter months. Problems with your water heater can show up in other ways beyond a lack of hot water. If you hear odd noises, including knocks or whining, from your water heater, that’s a sign that water heater failure might be imminent.
Solution: Water heater maintenance
Some minor steps can reduce the strain put on your water heater, such as spreading out the times that you call for hot water from your water heater (not doing laundry and taking a shower at the same time). While changing your usage behavior can help a struggling water heater, maintenance is the surefire way to make sure your water heater can get back to a full workload. If your water heater hasn’t been serviced in some time, having the tank completely flushed will make a big difference. Flushing the water heater removes sediment buildup that has likely grown over the years. This sediment can block proper heat transfer, and clearing out that sediment will help hot water flow again.
Problem: Proper home air quality
The days of open windows and gentle breezes are fading fast. In its place, blustery days and dropping temperatures that mean keeping the windows closed. Winter often means decreased air quality in your home due to a lack of ventilation and an increase in allergens and other airborne particles that can lead to sickness.
Solution: Make sure your air is clean
While air purification systems and humidifiers provide significant solutions to air quality problems in specific rooms, there are other simple steps you can take to make sure that the air in your home stays healthy. Making sure that you replace the air filters in your furnace is an easy way to capture the particles that would otherwise be floating around your home. If you use any fuel-burning appliances in your home, take care to pay close attention to avoid leakage. These fumes can accumulate in enclosed spaces and can quickly become dangerous.
In the wet days of fall and winter, tracking in rain or snow can create wet carpets or rugs that, left unattended, can accumulate mold or other airborne irritants. Consider disposing of and replacing any items that can’t be cleaned. It’s the best way to make sure that the items in your house aren’t having a negative impact on the air quality and health of your family this winter.
These are just a few of the problems and solutions that your home heating and plumbing can face this winter. The pros at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone offer years of experience in dealing with HVAC and plumbing issues. They can provide answers to any questions you might have, as well as help you consider some things you hadn’t before. With a goal of making customers happy and comfortable, it’s no surprise that Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone has made a reputation for trustworthy HVAC and plumbing repair in the Haverhill area. Find out for yourself. Give us a call at (978) 912-7677.