Thursday, September 19, 2013

Old man winter is upon us!

Why is winter characterized as an old man? Could it be because winter weather can be as ornery, unpredictable and as cantankerous as and old man who spends the springtime yelling at kids to get off the lawn and bemoaning the loss of the good life of his youth? I don't know the answer but I do know that the calendar says that the Brrrrs are upon us. You know, Septembrrrr, Octobrrrr, Novembrrrr, Decembrrrr. Football season is here and so is playoff baseball not to mention that frozen free for all played on skates with sticks known as hockey.
        How you spend your free time now has a lot to do with where and what level of comfort you will be watching the games at. Take a walk around your kingdom and while you enjoy being the master of all you survey take notes on the things that your kingdom needs corrected before freezing weather arrives. Is a faucet leaking that will leave a sheet of ice for you to bust your butt on during that halftime beer run? What about pipe insulation? Pipe insulation can take a beating in the good months that won't cause a problem till a hard freeze. Yard work, kids, pets,and wildlife all take a toll and it's much simpler to deal with now. The last thing on your mind should be having to get out in the frigid weather trying to duct tape rags around the pipes with a flashlight in your mouth. Animals want to come in from the cold too so make sure your attics and crawl spaces are sealed. Hot tubs that won't see use should be drained and covered. Hot tubs that will see use need to have their heaters tested and thermostats adjusted along with all applicable plumbing protection in place. Pool owners know the drill and are familiar with what needs to be done to winterize the pool. Just remember any enclosure that houses heating equipment will be attractive to critters that can do a lot of damage so prep accordingly.
        The methods of heating a home vary so much according to climate that I can't get into all of them. Just make sure which ever method you use is in good repair, clean and ready to go when you need it. If you need wood for a stove or fireplace get it now before the price gougers come out of their dens. Heat with oil? Gas? Top off the tanks. Is your water heater in the garage? Most water heaters are insulated between the shell and the tank but if your area gets multiple days of down right cold weather an insulating jacket may be in order to minimize heat loss and excessive power consumption.
        Do these things now plus all the ones I forgot to mention and Fall/Winter will be less stressful for all.