Baby, It’s Going to Be Cold Outside
It’s that time of year to start lighting up the cinnamon autumn-scented candles and getting cozy in your favorite scarves and UGGs. First, put down those PSLs (pumpkin spice lattes) and prepare your home or business for the harsh winter weather just around the corner. Before you know it, you’ll be making the porch pumpkins into pie and stoking the fireplace. This year we’ve been fortunate to experience an “extended fall” where we can enjoy the leaves changing and sticking around while on the trees. However, in true Colorado fashion, the first fall freeze and snow is right on time to hit around Halloween.
What Does The Sherman Agency Inc Do to Prepare?
Every fall season The Sherman Agency calls upon our preferred vendors to winterize our commercial properties. Some of the landscaping duties include cutting back tree branches and shrubs, removing dead trees, clearing fallen leaves and debris, pulling weeds, and aerating and fertilizing grass. Winterization preparedness also encompasses servicing the cooling systems meaning HVAC or swamp coolers also known as evaporative coolers. This generally consists of shutting off water to the roof units, disconnecting the pumps, and draining the reservoirs. Evaporative coolers differ from HVAC in that evaporative coolers operate by pulling air over water-soaked pads then the air is cooled as the water evaporates. HVAC systems use refrigerant to cool air.
Failure to prepare for cold-weather months will result in frozen and burst pipes throughout your sprinkler system and evaporative coolers which lead to costly unexpected repairs. It’s not a matter of “if”, but “when”. It’s important to know where the emergency water shut-off valve is located in your home and business in the event a warm winter day defrosts frozen pipes. Other winter-time woes consist of backup or ponding of water or ice in roof drains or gutters causing structural damage. Make sure to review your insurance policy and contact your agent to ensure proper coverage for the future in the off-chance you experience a winter emergency.
DIY Home Sprinkler Winterization
If you want to winterize or blowout your residential sprinkler system yourself you’ll need to locate the backflow preventer, shut off the water supply to the sprinklers, and adjust the valve to allow water from the pipes to drain. The backflow preventer system is designed to separate contaminated water from flowing into the direction of clean potable drinking water that runs into your home or business. It’s always an option to hire a licensed professional to winterize your sprinkler system. For those comfortable doing it yourself reference this video from a Broomfield Irrigation Specialist with the Parks Department of the City and County of Broomfield.
Save on Winter Utility Bills
The U.S. Department of Energy recommends keeping your thermostat between 68°-70° to help save money on your energy bill. Keeping inside temperatures a little cooler results in slower heat loss. The warmer it is in your home or business the faster thermal energy is lost to the outside. Digital thermostats are also a helpful way to keep energy costs low.
Sample Winterization Checklist (note this is not an exclusive list):
- Drain exterior pipes and hoses
- Insulate exposed pipes
- Trim or remove broken tree branches
- Check for cracks/holes around windows and doors
- Clear gutters and roof from debris
- Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
- Clean fireplace and chimney sweep
- Replace furnace filters and inspect furnace
- Stock up on extra batteries and flashlights
- Make sure snow shovels are sturdy and free of dents or splits
- Keep an assortment of warm blankets