Over the past 20 years, we have covered thousands of homeowners and recreational vehicle policies and seen a number of preventable issues arise.
As we approach the winter months in the DFW area, there are a number of issues that have a tendency to creep up on us no matter how much we try to prepare for them. Freezing nightly temperatures, quickly drying ground, and a strong northern wind are all on their way.
With this comes the dangers of home foundation issues, ruined components in your recreational vehicles, and a gammat of automobile issues that can leave you stranded in the worst of moments. Not to mention the wasted money of inefficient use of energy in heating and storing your investments.
We’ve searched the web for some of the most effective quick tips to help you and your family and compiled them into this single article. A quick thanks goes out to “Popular Mechanics” and “ReserveAmerica,” for providing us the content to make this a quick and impactful read to help you make the best of your winter.
Winterizing Your Home
Change your furnace filters monthly
Yes it’s easy to forget, but it’s important to replace or clean furnace filters once a month during the heating season. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy demand. It also poses a fire hazard by trapping flammable materials in your heating system. Here’s a worry-saving tip: Mark a monthly check on your calendar.
Run your fans in reverse
Most people think of fans only when they want to be cool, but many ceiling units come with a handy switch that reverses the direction of the blades. Counterclockwise rotation produces cooling breezes, while switching to clockwise makes it warmer. Air pooled near the ceiling is circulated back into the living space—cutting your heating costs as much as 10 percent!
Use an energy monitor
Measure your way to savings with an energy monitor (pictured is the Rainforest EMU-2 energy monitor, which costs $70). Such a device indicates household electrical usage in real time and projects your monthly bill. Research has found that such info leads consumers to reduce their electricity consumption significantly. In fact, according to the company you’ll save 15 to 20 percent on each bill, which would amount to hundreds of dollars a year. By seeing exactly how much each appliance or activity costs, you’ll start seeing easy ways to cut waste.
Save your foundation
Because severe cold and ice can cause your water lines to break, be sure to wrap your pipes when there’s going to be a hard freeze. Broken water lines can impact a foundation by penetrating a concrete slab or flooding the crawl space of a pier and beam foundation. When pipes burst, it’s possible for moisture to enter cracked concrete slabs and wreak havoc on houses. Even ¼” crevices can become a concern.
Sometimes the best course of action is to simply disconnect water hoses that are attached to outdoor faucets. Even if you disconnect the hose, you’ll want to cover up the faucet itself. A little insulation (using something as simple as a dishrag or towel), can prevent a lot of costly damage.
Winterizing Your Recreational Vehicle:
Did you know we cover all recreation vehicles, too? Click here for a free quote.
Drain the Plumbing System
This is the most important part of getting your RV ready for winter. Even a little water left in pipes, faucets, valves or pumps can freeze, expand, and split apart. And since most plumbing is buried inside walls and cabinets, repairs can be expensive.
“Note: RV antifreeze is PINK.”
For the complete winterizing guide, follow this link.
No matter what kind of engine you have, there are three essential winterizing steps:
- Change the oil and oil filter
- Change the fuel filter and stabilize the fuel
- Drain the water from the engine or use antifreeze.
FOR THE COMPLETE GUIDE, DOWNLOAD THE PDF WITH INTERACTIVE CHECKLIST HERE
“Winterizing your home”:
Author: Timothy Dahl
Publication: The Daily Green Staff
“Winterizing your RV”:
Author: Jeff Adams
“Winterizing your boat”: