Air Duct Cleaning

ServiceMaster Recovery Services: How to Prepare for Our Wet, Cold Winter

October 17, 2011   ·   By   ·   No Comments   ·   Posted in Air Duct Cleaning, Disaster Cleanup

Weatherize Before Excessive Cold & Snow Arrives

It’s predicted that El Niña conditions will produce an unusually cold and stormy winter. For some parts of the country that means a frigid climate, for others, lots of rain and snow. Much of the Midwest will likely be punished with both!

Ensure that your home or business is ready for this one-two punch. Use this weatherizing checklist to prepare for winter, help keep your family safe and save money through energy efficiency:

Help Prevent Fires

§ Furnace. Furnaces older than 15 years might be due for a replacement. For younger furnaces, make sure the furnace filter is clean, the thermostat is working properly and the pilot light is functioning.

§ Heating ducts. Ducts should be cleaned once every two years. Also consider adding insulation to any exposed ductwork. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a home with central heating can lose up to 60 percent of its heated air before that air reaches the vents if ductwork is not well-connected and insulated, or if it travels through unheated spaces.

§ Chimney. Before lighting up your fireplace, have the chimney inspected for animals, debris and leaves that may have fallen in. You may also want to install a screen over the chimney opening.

Help Prevent Ice Dams

§ Gutters, ridge vents and insulation. Gutters should be cleaned to prevent any clogs that would cause rainwater to back up and freeze, making the gutters expand and crack. The ridge vents need to be cleaned as well in order to allow the house to “breath” correctly. Proper insulation and roof ventilation can stop the formation of damaging and costly ice dams.

Keep Heat Inside

§ Caulking and weather stripping. The average American home has air leaks that amount to a nine-square-foot hole in the wall. To prevent leaks, inspect the caulking around windows and doors and check for cracking and peeling. Also ensure that doors and windows shut tightly and no cold air is coming in due to worn weather stripping.

Keep Outdoor Equipment in Good Repair

§ Seasonal equipment. You won’t need your spring and summer equipment for a few months, so drain the water from garden hoses and air conditioner pipes and the gasoline from the lawnmower and other garden tools. It’s also time to pull out the snow shovels and plows to ensure they are ready for use.

Prepare for Emergencies

§ Smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors. Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors once a month. Replace batteries at least once a year.

§ Emergency kit. When a winter storm strikes, an emergency kit should have all essential materials in one handy place. An emergency kit should include flashlights, candles and matches, a first aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable food and a battery-powered radio. You may want to keep the same emergency kit in the car as well, including a couple blankets.

By ServiceMaster Recovery Services


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