New residents to the city may not understand that although their address reads the state of Florida, temperatures can still drop below freezing during the winter. Consider performing a few of these maintenance tasks in order to keep your home in tip top condition.
Irrigation, Hoses and Hose Bibs
- Winterizing the house irrigation system is simple: Turn off the water to the irrigation system at main valve. Set the automatic irrigation controller to the “rain” setting. Turn on each of the valves to release pressure in the pipes. Drain all of the water out of any irrigation components that might freeze.
- Remove hoses from the exterior hose bibs to prevent water pipes from freezing within the wall. Wrap the pipes and the pressure reducing valve at your main water shut off to provide additional protection against freezing.
- On the exterior, open the hose bib and drain the water from the line. Push upward on the anti-siphon ring to ensure the water is drained from the line. On the interior, open the bleeder valve at the shut off. (Make sure you have something to catch the water in.) Be sure this valve is tightened again after the water is drained and then make sure that the black washer is in the cap. Push upward on the anti-siphon ring to ensure that all of the water is drained from the line.
Gutters and Downspouts
- Clean gutters and downspouts frequently to prevent build up of leaves and other debris. Neglected gutters can lead to wood rot problems and pest infestations. Be sure water is not coming down behind gutters and all support brackets are secure. Check to ensure water drains properly and doesn’t pool, which can cause damage to foundations, driveways, and walkways.
Windows and Doors
- Inspect and repair any loose or damaged window or door frames. Install weather stripping or caulking around windows and doors to prevent drafts and lower heating bills. If you live in a home 5 years old or newer, chances are you have certain energy star/saving features in your windows.
- It is common to see condensation on windows. Keep an eye for dripping condensation on your window sills and clean with soap and water.
- It is generally recommended that you hire an HVAC company to regularly maintain your HVAC system.Consider having a heating professional check your heating system to ensure optimal performance and discover minor problems before they turn into costly major repairs. Adjust the dampers if necessary.
- Clean your ducts for efficiency as well as to reduce household dust and to provide relief to those with respiratory or allergy problems. Clean your thermostat’s heat sensor, contact points, and contacts. Check accuracy and replace if necessary.
- Lubricate the hot water heater’s pump and motor. Venting unused rooms of your home should continue during winter.
- For those who will travel during the winter, do not turn the thermostat below 65. This practice will help protect your pipes should there be a freeze while you are out of town. Keep your outside condenser unit clear to prevent freezing.
- During extremely cold weather, you may consider letting indoor faucets located on exterior walls drip.
- When enjoying the fireplace, remember to open the damper. As you leave the room, be sure to close the glass doors on the fireplace to keep any sparks created by the fire in the firebox.