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Seven Ways to Take Care of Your Plumbing During Winter

People don’t often think about their plumbing until it’s not working. During the cold winter months, the odds of that happening increase dramatically. But taking care of your pipes, faucets, and more and keeping them more top of mind can prevent the worst from happening.

Try these seven ideas.

  1. Run the water on cold days. Most of the winter, water will have no problem running through your home’s pipes despite the temperatures outside. But on particularly cold days — think 10 degrees and below — the chill can get into the pipes and cause issues. Open the faucets to a very slow drip leave it — you’ll keep the water moving, avoiding freezing, without wasting much water.
  2. Keep your heat on even if you travel. Heading out of town for a few days. The economical side of you may want to turn off the heat to save money — who needs to heat an empty home? But your home isn’t totally empty – your plumbing is left behind and needs to be attended to. You can lower the temperature; consider setting the automatic thermostat to kick in of the home dips below 60.
  3. Make sure your pipes are insulated. Both the cold and hot water pipes in your home need can benefit from a cozy warm blanket during the winter. Cover exposed pipes (attic, basement, and outdoors) with foam wraps available at the hardware store, and make sure your walls have enough insulation for those pipes hiding within.
  4. Turn off outdoor plumbing. Make sure the water supply to outdoor faucets, irrigation systems, and water features is turned off and disconnected. Removing the hoses removes any remaining water and prevents it from freezing inside the systems.
  5. Keep an eye on your septic tank. If you have an onsite septic system, it can be impacted by the cold. The ground and even layers of snow can provide insulation, but there is still a chance of the line from your home to the tank freezing, or worse, the tank itself bursting. If you sense any changes in your waste removal, call a Madsen tech — issues addressed earlier are easier to fix and less costly.
  6. Have your hot water heater checked out. Regular maintenance on your HVAC and plumbing systems can not only keep them running in proper order longer, but can prevent major issues. You’ll never miss hot water more than in the dead of winter. Since the cold temperatures make your hot water heater work overtime, make sure it’s up for the task.
  7. Be prepared. If something does go wrong and your pipes burst, make sure everyone knows how to respond. Identify the master water valve, make sure everyone knows how to use it, and keep Madsen’s information handy.

    Madsen, Inc. provides reliable, high-quality and expert service for Heating, Cooling, Plumbing
    and Kitchen & Bath Design to Delaware County and the surrounding areas. For more
    information give us a call at 610.356.4800 to see how we can help you.
Four Musts for Winter HVAC Maintenance

With cold temperatures and snow around the corner, your HVAC system will soon be working some overtime. But is it ready for the challenge? Tackle these four simple to-dos now to ensure a stress-free season.

1. Clean or Replace the Air Filter

Most disposable air filters are designed to last about three months max, so make the switch part of your winter (and summer) plans. Why? Dirty air filters not only don’t work as well at catching air pollutants like dust and pollen, but with less space for the air to flow through they can make your furnace actually run harder and longer than necessary. For the most efficient system, check your filter monthly.

2. Clean the Air Vents

Clean the other areas of your system as well, like the access vents. Use a vacuum attachment of dust clock to remove any grime, dust, or other dirt, and make sure the vent isn’t blocked by furniture or rugs. All this will help air flow better and prevent dirt and dust from entering your HVAC system and circulating around your home.

3. Update Your Thermostat

It’s time to set your plan for winter temperature control and energy efficiency. If you have a programmable thermostat, make sure you switch to the ideal winter schedule, setting the temperature cooler in the evening and while you are away from your home for work and school. It really works: according to the U.S.Department of Energy, you can save 1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long.

4. Schedule an Inspection

The only thing worse than a broken heating system is when it’s broken on the coldest day of the year. Ensure you and your family will be safe and warm for the upcoming season by getting an
inspection now. A Madsen tech can check all the components of your furnace and suggest any maintenance or repairs you may need. Call us today to schedule your HVAC check.

Madsen, Inc. provides reliable, high-quality and expert service for Heating, Cooling, Plumbing and Kitchen & Bath Design to Delaware County and the surrounding areas. For more
information give us a call at 610.356.4800 to see how we can help you.