6 Snow Storm Survival Tips
Discover Valuable Tips and Tricks For Your Home
With another snow storm bearing down on Delaware, Southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Northern Maryland and record cold temperatures expected to follow, our experts here at Horizon Services urge people to heed safety precautions. With that, we’ve developed some quick tips and tricks to help you get through this dangerous weather.
1. Block Window Drafts And Leaks
One of the best ways to winterize your home is to simply block obvious drafts and leaks around your house, both inside and out. To create a better seal make sure that all of your windows are closed tightly and locked. This can make a big difference in your comfort inside your home, and prevent unnecessary heat loss. Additionally, our experts recommend closing your curtains too, as it adds an extra barrier to help prevent heat loss and block drafts through your windows.
Everyone knows just how awful the aroma of real dirty socks is, and the thought of an equally awful smell emanating from the heating system is the stuff of nightmares. But that is something millions of people have to contend with once the temperature drops and they seek some warmth in their homes.
2. Wrap Those Pipes
Let’s face it a burst pipe caused by a winter freeze is a nightmare. To prevent this from happening before freezing nights hit, make certain that the water to your hose bibs is shut off inside your house via a shutoff valve, and that the lines have been properly drained too.
Next, look for other pipes that aren’t insulated, or that pass through unheated spaces such as crawlspaces, basements, or garages. Make sure to wrap them with pre-molded foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation, available at most hardware stores. If you’re really worried about a pipe freezing, you can first wrap it with heating tape, which is basically an electrical cord that emits heat, and then wrap it outer part with the rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation too.
To avoid frozen pipes, keep water running at a trickle. Open cabinet doors to sinks to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes. Additionally, we recommend keeping garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.
If you discover frozen pipes, Horizon Services recommends you shut off the water, call a plumber and your insurance agent, and be aware of potential electric shock in and around standing water. Don’t try to thaw a frozen pipe with an open flame or torch.
3. Install A Programmable Thermostat
Having a programmable thermostat is a great way to save on energy bills and in this way you will be able to monitor the amount of time that your thermostat stays active. It is important to keep thermostats at the same temperature, day and night. This is also a very important aspect in ensuring that pipes do not freeze and is especially beneficial for people who leave their house for extended periods of time during the winter months.
Our experts recommend that you never use a stove or oven to heat a home. If you decide to use space heaters they should be placed on a hard, level surface at least three feet away from anything flammable. And, they should always be turned off before going to bed.
4. Keep Your Home Heated
If your home is equipped with a heat pump, you may have noticed during the last cold snap that your system kept running constantly, or it might have been running in emergency mode and switched over to a backup method of heat. The important thing to note is was your home still being heated? Being heated in low out door temperatures does not mean that your thermostat will reach 70 degrees when it is 4 degrees outside and even lower with the wind chill. Verify your heater is maintaining a temperature and not continuing to fall steady of it does then there is NOT a problem with your heat pump. In fact, heat pumps units are designed to switch to their backup source when the outdoor temperature reaches the minimum threshold.
The standard threshold within our region is 14 degrees, which we will definitely fall well below this week! If your heat pump is shut down, but your backup source is still providing heat, you do NOT need a service call. However, if you have no heat at all, from your heat pump or the emergency backup, then you do need to place a service call.
To arrange for a service call, you can either call us or submit an online form.
If the temperature remains constant you can also boil a pot of water on your stove to help raise the humidity level which in turn will help to improve the comfort level of your home.
5. Utilize Ceiling Fans To Circulate Heat
Reversing your ceiling fan during cold seasons is a great way to ensure that an even level of heat is moving throughout the house. By reversing its direction from the summer operation, the fan will push warm air downward and force it to recirculate, keeping you more comfortable. This is especially beneficial in rooms that contain a fireplace.
6. Dress Warmer Inside
One of the more simple ways in which you can ensure that you remain warm during the winter is to dress warmer when inside. By wearing long sleeve jumpers, long johns and slippers, you will not have to warm up the air in your house so much.
Contact Horizon Services
If you are ready to install or replace a heating and air conditioning system our friendly and experienced team of Comfort Specialists can help. They’ll take the time to study your home, understand your requirements, show you all of your options and assist you with finding the quality home comfort system that best meets your family’s needs and budget.