With the recent cold weather, Alpine would like to share a few tips to help you save on your utilities and help you stay safe and warm this winter.
CHECKLIST OF THINGS TO DO:
- Clean your gutters. Inspect and clean your gutters and downspouts. Full gutters can cause leaky basements, thus ruining your personal belongings.
- Keep it warm. Seal gaps and cracks around windows and doors with weather-stripping and caulk to save money on your heating bill.
- Check your faucets. Drain and winterize outdoor faucets and irrigation systems. For your water spigots outside, cover them with styrofoam faucet covers (available at Lowe’s or Home Depot). If you have exposed water pipes, you may want to cover them with pipe cover. Keeping your indoor faucets running at a slow trickle (about a pencil’s diameter) during the evening or overnight can actually prevent freezing and breaks. Frozen and broken pipes mean no water for possibly days, and they can make your water bills shoot sky high! If you should ever have a water line you feel is freezing but not burst, place a space heater nearby or use a hair dryer to warm the line before calling for repairs. If a water line ever does burst in your home, TURN OFF THE MAIN first, then call maintenance.
- Freshen your filter. Clean or replace dirty furnace filters. Filters should be changed once a month. Also check the batteries in your thermostat to keep the temperature correct. You should keep your furnace on at all times during freezing temps. While you may be trying to save some cash on your heating bill by using electric heaters, you may end up with no water due to frozen water lines in the walls – and an even bigger bill for the cost of repairs as a result of the damage.
- Gather around the hearth. Check fireplaces for soot or creosote build-up. Better yet, if you plan on using your fireplace, schedule a visit from a reputable chimney sweep. DO NOT attempt to clean it yourself.
- Keep your family safe at home. A home safety check should be an annual ritual in every household. This is a good time to change the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors. Consider going the extra mile and vacuuming the dust out of the sensors to ensure the detectors get an accurate reading of smoke or carbon monoxide. Review fire escape plans, and rid your home of old newspapers and other fire hazards. You may want to keep spare blankets and flashlights ready in case of emergency. If you have an emergency kit, check it. If you don’t have an emergency kit, you may want to consider getting one.
- Store air conditioners. If you have removable window air conditioners, be sure to unplug them before taking them down. Dust and clean before covering or storing.
- Be safe. Please do not heat your home with the stove. Also, your furnace may smell when you first turn it on (if you have not yet). It takes a few minutes to get the smell out.
- Rake, rake, rake. It’s important to remove fallen leaves from your lawn if they still remain from fall. When leaves become wet from rain or snow, they can form a mat that will suffocate the grass and breed fungal diseases.
If you should ever need the Alpine maintenance team, please call 816-800-5115.
Stay warm, everyone!