Winterize Water Systems
For homes in colder climates, one of the most important tasks is winterizing water systems. Not all homes require winterization if the climate stays warm year round. Sprinkler systems and pools are two systems that should be winterized for any area where the temperature hovers near freezing or lower.
For the sprinkler systems you will need to shut off the timer, open the pressure valves, and drain the system. Most often the pressure vacuum breaker is caught by a freeze and breaks. This component prevents water from entering the water supply and causing contamination. It is above ground and any plastic parts inside the metal housing are susceptible. It is easy to drain by using the drain valves.
To winterize a pool you’ll need to setup a specific chemical program. The general outline is balancing the chemicals, removing loose or moving parts, lowering the water level, and draining the pumping system. The pumping system might not have to be drained but pool antifreeze (i.e. not the same as the chemical solution for cars) should be added to the water. Also, many homeowners will add algaecide to help keep the pool clean.
Homes is colder climates must winterize outside faucets, but any homes in mild climates should be fine. The water supply should be shut off to start. Then pull off any attachments. Open up drain valves and leave the faucet in the open position for the winter.
Furnace Maintenance and Filter Replacement
The most important task for colder climates is furnace maintenance. It is generally best to have a professional service this system. Furnace maintenance includes blower motor lubrication, burner cleaning, sensor checks, flue inspection, oil filter replacement and carbon monoxide checks.
In between service calls be sure to regularly change the furnace air filter every couple months. Both the heating and cooling systems utilize the air filters so this will be a year-round task. Luckily, it is an easy DIY job and cheap.