Preparing your plumbing and heating for the bitter end of winter

Last month, we talked about preparing your home’s plumbing and heating systems for the holiday season. The holidays are a burden because family and friends gather in one place. The sheer number of people can put a strain on your plumbing and HVAC, particularly in the winter. 

In this blog, we here at Guin are going to discuss the tips and tricks that will help gird your home against winter’s longevity. While heating a home for your spouse’s whole side of the family can be rough, the Alabama season of cold, rain, and snow are a different beast altogether. 

Keep the heat on when away from home

When making winter preparations, we usually think of checking to ensure the thermostat is working or that the pipes are clean and clear. Keeping your heat on when it’s cold enough to freeze a cup of coffee might sound like a strange suggestion. The thing is, when going away on trips, or even when taking a day or two away from home, people often think to conserve energy–and therefore precious dollars. Turning off the heat seems like a perfect way to do just that. 

In a word, don’t! The last thing you want is a set of frozen pipes. The resulting damage would be far more costly than the amount of money saved from turning off the heat each time you left the house throughout the winter. Instead, lower the heat to a temperature just high enough to ensure the pipes aren’t at risk of freezing. 

Some suggest keeping the heat at 45 degrees or higher, but we would rather be safe than sorry: 55 degrees should do the trick. 

Close off the water valves

In a similar vein, make sure to turn off the water valves outside the house–and for the same reasons. Leaving the hose valves open during winter exposes the water to the frigid air. Therefore, the pipes could freeze or rupture, causing significant damage to the home, perhaps even flooding the basement. 

Make sure you check this task off, as the resulting damage from ruptured pipes can be quite expensive!

You checked your water heater for the holiday–now recheck it!

Come wintertime, your water heater is an essential element in your home. Now is your final chance to ensure that there’s no corrosion, worn out parts, or temperature issues. 

Be sure to call a heating and plumbing expert should you have difficulty getting a sense of how your water heater is holding up. Guin’s professional plumbers can run a series of tests and checkups that can help you sleep soundly, knowing your water heater is ready for the rest of the winter. 

Should anything go wrong during the winter months, remember that you can always call Guin for emergency repairs

And yes, check that thermostat

It’s pretty hard to keep your house warm when the thermostat doesn’t turn on. Think about what would happen if it conked out just when temperatures dipped to their lowest recordings of the season? 

We hate to be redundant, but few situations so aptly call for the phrase ‘rather be safe than sorry.’ If you’re not sure about your thermostat, please feel free to contact us

Check and replace your air filters

Whether it’s your air conditioning or central heating, the controlled air travels through the same ducts and vents. But you may not notice until turning on the heat, which can stuff up your nose. 

Regardless of whether you can sense it, clogged up filters affect you and your respiratory system. You must change them out regularly. 

Check your carbon monoxide monitor

Your carbon monoxide detector is part of neither your heating nor plumbing systems. However, more than just for gas appliances, carbon monoxide detectors are essential to the integrity of your heating system. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a severe health hazard. As with your thermostat, make sure your detector has batteries with enough juice for the winter, preferably new ones, so that you can be sure. 

Checking for carbon monoxide hazards is one of the best reasons to sign up for the GuinGuard program. The GuinGuard program allows you to get regular maintenance benefits for a low price that beats paying for repairs in the long run. 

More than saving you money, the GuinGuard program safeguards your family from the potentially severe hazards of faulty plumbing and heating. 

Schedule an appointment with a professional

In the end, we all have busy schedules, and we’re not experts at everything there is to do with heating and plumbing. Even if you are handy around the house, it’s still a good idea to get a second opinion, as anyone would when it comes to their own health. 

Schedule an appointment with Guin today, and make sure that your home’s plumbing and heating are prepared for the winter.

Contact Guin Service, LLC, serving Birmingham, Hoover, and Mountain Brook, AL, to prepare your home for the winter season. We’ve been in business for 60 years because we do what’s right for our customers. You can always trust us to be honest and have your best interest in mind. Just give us a call today at 205.407.1737.