As the weather starts to get a frigid chill, it’s a great reminder that winter is just around the corner. With winter comes the much-awaited holiday season. Before we get there, we’re going to share with you some must-do preparation tips to get your home ready to host your beloved holiday gatherings.

Schedule Annual Heating Maintenance

As we enter into the fall season, it’s the optimal time of year to have your heating system serviced by a licensed professional. This helps to ensure that your system is clean and operating efficiently. This professional maintenance service is also required by many heating system manufacturers as part of your responsibility to maintain your heating system’s warranty coverage.

Clean Out Your Gutters

Another necessary home maintenance tip to properly prepare for winter weather is to clean out your gutters. As the leaves fall, they can get trapped inside your gutters and restrict the flow of water. This can cause water to unintentionally back up on your roof and seep underneath your shingles, causing water damage to your home. To prevent this issue, it’s best to clear out your home’s gutters and downspouts. Make sure that they’re adequately connected and in good working condition.

Get Your Septic Tank Pumped

If your home has a septic tank to deal with human waste, it needs to be pumped out on a regular basis. This ranges from every two to six years, depending on a variety of factors. These can include the number of occupants in your home, the size of your septic tank, and so forth. If it’s been over two years, it’s best to call in a professional to pump your sewage before you plan on having a lot of guests over for the holiday season.

Have Your Water Heater Drained

Another necessary task that should be performed this time of year is water heater flushing. This process is ideal for removing loose sediment and hard water scaling that occurs inside your water tank. Otherwise, this debris would cause the inside of the tank to corrode prematurely. Any plumbing professional should be able to properly drain your water heater and ensure that it’s working appropriately.

Change Your HVAC Air Filter

A necessary part of ensuring that your heating system works as efficiently as possible is changing out its air filter. This filter needs to be changed at least every three months. Some homes require more frequent replacement. You should check your HVAC air filter every month. As soon as you can’t see through it, that means that it’s time for a replacement.

Order Fuel for Your Heating System

Heating systems can run on a variety of fuels, including electricity, heat oil, propane, and natural gas. While electricity and natural gas are on tap at your home, heating oil and propane are not. Before the weather gets cold enough to run your heating system, you should call to get your heating oil or propane delivered.

Clean Your Garbage Disposal

When the holidays roll around, many of us spend a lot of time in the kitchen preparing large meals for friends and family. To greatly help minimize your risk of any kitchen plumbing problems during the holidays, be sure to take time now to clean your garbage disposal. A mixture of baking soda and distilled white vinegar should do the trick. Simply let the mixture sit inside your garbage disposal for about 15 minutes or more before flushing it down with about one or two minutes of hot water.

Refresh Alarm and Detector Batteries

Having smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors is a great way to help ensure that you’re alerted of any hazard when it happens. You should take a moment to replace the batteries in all of your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure that you adequately test each one after replacing the batteries to ensure that it’s working correctly.

Clear Away Furnace Clutter

Over the summer months, it’s easy to set items by your furnace, knowing that it’s not working. However, before you plan on using your furnace this winter season, you should clean up any clutter around it. There should be a good 8 to 10 feet of space around your furnace with no flammable materials.

Clean Your Vents and Registers

Fall is a great time to clean the various vents and registers throughout your home to enhance your indoor air quality. You should be able to simply unscrew or pop out the vents and registers with ease. Make sure that you clean off any excess debris and adequately dry them before reinstalling them.

Get Your Ductwork Cleaned

Your ducts are responsible for carrying warm air throughout all the rooms of your home during the winter months. Unfortunately, they can also carry around unwanted airborne toxins, like dust and pollen. HVAC professionals recommend having your ductwork cleaned every two to five years. This cleaning service should be performed by a licensed professional with the appropriate equipment to do the job.

Add Some Insulation

Think of insulation as a necessary barrier to keep the cold air from entering your home. The more of it that you have, the less likely cold air will seep in. Take a look at the recommended insulation R-value for your area of the country. If your home doesn’t meet this R-value, you should highly consider upgrading. Insulation is worth its weight in gold when it comes to lowering your wintertime heating bills.

Consider Hydrojetting

Hydrojetting is a process where pressurized water is forced into your piping. It helps to force unwanted debris buildup from the interior of your pipes and out into the main sewage line or your septic tank. Hydrojetting should be done every two to four years, depending on a number of factors. This will help greatly reduce your risk of experiencing any plumbing issues during the holiday season.

Upgrade Your Windows

If your windows are over 15 years old, then it may be time for a replacement. Your windows can play a big role in how expensive your heating bills get. When your windows are properly sealed, they can save you a bundle. However, when they’re old and develop leaks around their seal, they can end up skyrocketing your heating bills. Investing in new windows will not only work to lower your heating bills, but they’ll go a long way in boosting the overall value of your home.

Trim Outside Vegetation

Before the winter weather hits, you should take time to cut down any branches that are hanging down over your roof or other features on your property. This will help to prevent any damage from heavy snow that can lay on those branches. Also, it’s an ideal time to trim any shrubs that are located near your outdoor compressor unit if you have a heat pump. You want to have a good three-foot radius around the compressor unit to ensure optimal airflow.

Professional HVAC Services

At We Care Plumbing, Heating, & Air, we offer professional HVAC services to the entire Temecula, CA region. We’re also here for all of your plumbing, indoor air quality, and water heater needs. Simply call us today to get the professional assistance that you need with your home!

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