“It can be refreshing to spend winters in a warmer environment, but it’s important to remember that your home will stay behind in the cold,” said Mike Nicholson, owner of Nicholson Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. “Taking care to prepare your home to properly withstand the long absence is important during what could be a severe winter. The last thing you want to do is come back from vacation to a home that is flooded because of a broken supply line or appliance malfunction.”
Nicholson offers the following as important steps toward winterizing a home:
Save electrical energy – Make sure that all electronics remaining behind such as televisions are not only turned off but are unplugged with any power strips being disconnected as well. This will eliminate any trickle charges and consumption that can add up over long periods. Large appliances, when possible, should be unplugged as well as small appliances such as coffee pots and toasters. Take a walk around the home to inspect the windows and doorframes, searching for any gaps in seals or deteriorated weather stripping that could allow warmth to escape. Finally, figure out what temperature setting will walk the line best between saving money and keeping the home at a safe temperature. A programmable thermostat is a great solution for maintaining the proper temperature within the home.
Prevent potential sanitary issues – Any perishable food items left on counters or inside the refrigerator should be used immediately, taken with, or properly disposed of outside the home. Do not leave behind unemptied trash bins, especially containing food, as these can attract any pests that may infiltrate the home to stay. Flushing out sink traps and disposals is a great way to avoid finding terrible odors upon returning.
Protect the plumbing – Shut off the water at the main valve, and open all faucets to allow them to drain. Leaving faucets open, especially outdoor spigots, will give more room for possible expansion from freezing and may prevent bursting. Make sure to shut off outdoor spigots and protect them with proper insulated covers. Don’t forget to disconnect the supply hoses from the washing machine, and drain the water heater and water softener if one is present. Enlisting the aid of a home service professional may be useful if the lines need to be blown out or if there is worry that ancillary items like a sprinkler system may not be properly winterized.
Play it safe – Make sure the home seems occupied throughout extended absences. Forward the mail or ask a friend or relative to pick it up and check in on the home periodically. Arrange in advance to have driveway plowed in the event of snow or ice to create an occupied appearance. Another great tip is to set a couple of lights, preferably visible to the entrances, on timers so that they will turn on for periods of time and give the illusion of occupancy.
“We want all of our neighbors who live the snowbird lifestyle to do so in the safest manner possible,” Nicholson said. “Beyond simply plumbing and water supply preparation, we want to share the best whole-home advice we can to ensure you save money on energy and your investment is kept safe during your absence.”
For more information on winterizing your home, call Nicholson Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning at (508) 881-1500 or visit www.nicholson-hvac.com/.
About Nicholson Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning
Based in Holliston, Massachusetts, Nicholson is a family-owned, full-service residential plumbing, heating, and air conditioning company proudly serving all of the MetroWest area and beyond. Nicholson takes an all-encompassing approach to ensure clients reach the highest possible level of comfort, while staying within their budget. Nicholson was recently honored with the 2016 Carrier DCNE Outstanding Performance Award. The company offers a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee and Solid Warranty. Nicholson is an Angie’s List “Super Service Award” recipient. For more information, visit Nicholson at http://www.nicholson-hvac.com/.
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SOURCE Nicholson Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning
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