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A Few Things to Consider while Preparing For Winter

This month, while we continue to enjoy the colorful leaves, apple pies, pumpkin fests and fairs, it is not too early to start thinking about PREPARING FOR WINTER. Preparing now for winter can save time, money, and discomfort later.  Here are a few things you can do to prevent problems this winter.


The heating unit should be cleaned and serviced.  On hot air systems, install new filters and replace every 68 weeks.  Clean the humidifier thoroughly to remove mold.  Hot water radiators in older hot water systems should be "airbled."  Metal or other reflecting materials behind radiators will increase the heat output of the units.


Heating grills or radiators should not be covered or blocked with curtains, drapes or furniture.  The bottoms of baseboard heaters should have at least 11/2 inches of clear­ance between the heater and carpeting.


With heat pumps, snow should be kept away from the intake air grills of the unit.  Ideally, heat pump compressor units should be raised 18 inches above grade or roof level.  In hot air furnaces over 15 years old, a smoke test is recommended to deter­mine if there are cracks in the heat exchanger which would be a health hazard and combustion exhaust gases could enter the house through the ductwork.

All heating pipes, hot water pipes and ductwork should be insulated.  This is particularly important in garage and attics, and under house crawl areas.  Close off air conditioning vents during the winter months.  Check caulking on all windows, door frames, chimneys and joints between different materials.  Keep the fireplace damper closed when not in use.  Seal off the attic fan. Insulation in the attic should be checked to insure it is not covering over the eave vents. Insulation should not extend into the roof overhang.