Well, we certainly got a taste for what Old Man Winter has in store for us in the weeks to come, with temperatures dropping into the single digits in the Ocean State over Thanksgiving weekend.
Thankfully, we have warmed up a bit since then, but that blast of arctic air was a good reminder to prepare for anything now that winter is upon us. Here’s a checklist of things to do in your Rhode Island home before winter really hits.
Minimize air leaks – Install caulk, door seals and door sweeps to reduce drafts and keep your family more comfortable. Consider plastic window coverings, too.
Turn off outdoor water – Detach your garden hoses, close the inside shut-off valve and drain all hoses and fixtures to prevent frozen pipes.
Replace air filters – Check your heating system’s air filter once a month, replacing it as necessary. Clogged air filters make your furnace overwork to heat your home, which reduces efficiency and causes unnecessary wear and tear on your equipment.
Unblock vents and baseboards – Move any furniture or objects that prevent heat from reaching your space.
Clean your outdoor HVAC unit – Clear leaves, sticks or other debris from your outdoor HVAC unit to ensure proper airflow.
Reverse your ceiling fan – Most ceiling fans reverse; set yours so it pushes rising warm air back down into the room (see your owner’s manual for instructions).
Make note of unusual noises – Noises in your system can indicate vent blockages or debris, loose or broken parts, or other problems; if you hear something unusual, contact us for service.
Check your safety devices – Test your carbon monoxide, smoke, and propane detectors, replacing the batteries in each for the season.
Schedule routine maintenance – If you haven’t done it yet, schedule heating system maintenance: it will keep your equipment running efficiently and reliably all season long, so you’ll pay less for your bills and get more peace of mind.
Get a heating oil fill-up – As temperatures drop, the cost of heating oil will rise. If you need a heating oil delivery, do it before winter settles in for the long haul.