As Winnipeg braces for another frosty winter, it is important to keep drains and furnaces running optimally. This does not have to be a tiresome endeavour as there are plenty of quick, simple things that can be done to avoid disaster this season. Damage from burst pipes can cost thousands and homeowners’ insurance does not always cover everything.
Here are a few tips to keep costs down:
1. Faucets – Remove and drain water hoses and bring them inside in the fall. These items serve no purpose in the winter anyway and could cause major problems if left out.
2. Leaks – Repair minor wear and tear before small drips become large streams. A dripping faucet could also cause unnecessary added charges to your water bill.
3. Pipes – Use heat tape and/or pipe insulation to wrap up exposed piping in colder areas at home. This is essential for mobile homes and is one of the most important steps to take to prevent plumbing mishaps.
4. Water Heater – This should be checked on at least once a year and right before winter is the perfect time to schedule a tune-up. It can be tricky to do this alone, so feel free to call a professional to help. Also ensure the temperature is set to 120F, which is the optimal temperature to keep a water heating running smoothly for a long time.
5. Drains – Be especially careful with what ends up down your drains. Do not pour cooking oil, fats, and large pieces of food down kitchen drains and use hair traps in bathroom sinks to prevent major clogs. Use drain cleaners regularly to keep pipes obstruction-free and have it professionally cleaned out to prevent build up.
6. Clean – Snow, branches, leaves, and debris can cause drainage issues. Routinely clean out gutters and downspouts while the weather is warm and it is easier to do so.
7. Maintenance – Remember to change furnace filters regularly to not only keep air in the home clean, but also to keep the furnace running at peak efficiency.
8. Vacation – Snowbirds should shut their water off completely before heading south for the winter. Also, consider calling a professional to drain pipes as any water left in could freeze and cause pipes to burst. With no one home, damage could end up being widespread and severe.
9. Inspection – Check pipes, faucets, shower heads, and similar hardware for leaks, cracks, or anything else and fix issues before the cold weather hits. Cooler temperatures can exasperated plumbing problems making an inexpensive fix cost a fortune.
10. Call the pros – Mangell Plumbing and Heating are here to help with any plumbing and heating needs before or during the colder months. Whether it is a minor or major repair, we would be happy to help.
Keeping all of these tips in mind and routinely keeping on top of them will greatly reduce the number of repairs that need to be done. It will also reduce maintenance bills and home heating costs. Enjoy the holiday season and the snowy views of Winnipeg with peace of mind that everything is running as it should.