Posts Tagged ‘winter tips’
As we are all preparing for the cold by putting away our summer clothes and pulling out our winter clothes, we also need to start preparing our homes for the changing weather. Before it gets too cold, it’s a good idea to do some seasonal maintenance on your home. Performing a few simple maintenance tasks can save you from costly repairs later on. Here are some tips on how to prepare your home for fall and winter:
1. Check Roof, Chimney, & Fireplace
Nobody wants a leaky roof when the rain comes. At the very least, make sure to do a visual inspection of your roof from the ground. Look for missing, loose, or damaged shingles and be sure to replace or repair them. If you can, get a better look at the roof by climbing up there and inspect every shingle. Also, if you have a flat roof, remove any debris to prevent blockage of drains and other damage. You should also check your chimney and fireplace to ensure that they are ready to be used. It is best to hire a professional to inspect and clean your chimney.
2. Clean Out Gutters
It is very important to clean out the gutters before it starts raining. You can hire a company to do this or do it yourself. Either way, leaves, nests, and any debris needs to be removed. In addition, you should check for leaks in the gutters and repair them.
3. Winterize Irrigation System
Preparing your irrigation system early can save you from disaster later. You should drain and check the system prior to the cold season. If you live in a place that gets snow, be sure to mark your sprinkler heads so snow removal equipment doesn’t run them over. It is also wise to bring any hoses inside so they are protected from the cold.
4. Prepare Landscaping
There are many precautionary steps you can take to protect your landscaping from the winter. First, inspect your trees to ensure that they are healthy for the cold weather. You don’t want any tree limbs to fall on your home, car, or power lines. Also, trim back any bushes, shrubs, and flowers as recommended in your climate zone. If you have any plants in flower pots, bring them inside to protect them. It is also very important to fertilize your lawn to prevent damage from the cold and weeds in the spring.
5. Bring Seasonal Furniture Inside
If you have any lawn chairs or other seasonal furniture, it is best to bring those things inside your garage or shed. Remove the cushions and wash them, so they are ready to go. And wipe down the furniture and store it in a dry place.
6. Check for Drafts
Looking for drafts in your home can help you stay warm and save energy this cold season. Check all of your doors and windows by feeling for drafts. If you feel any air coming in, you may need to replace the seals or repair caulking. A great way to check for drafts is to hold a lighted candle near the crack and if the flame flickers, there is probably a draft.
7. Winterize Air Conditioning
No matter what kind of air conditioning system you have, you should prepare it for winter. If you have an outdoor unit, it is best to cover it. Covering the unit protects it from the cold and prevents any water from entering the unit. If you have a window unit, bring it inside so that you can close the window for the fall and winter.
8. Prepare & Inspect the Heating System
Prior to firing up your heating system, perform an inspection or hire a professional to do so. Test for leaks, check the heating efficiency and replace the filters. In addition, it is a good idea to check out all of the vents in your home. Make sure all of the vents aren’t blocked by anything and are free of dust.
9. Inspect Home Safety Devices
Be sure to perform an inspection of all of your home safety devices. Replace the batteries in all of the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors and make sure they are working properly. If you do not already have a carbon monoxide device, I would recommend getting one for your home.
Louie’s ACE Home Center Can Help!
Here at Louie’s ACE Home Center, we know how to prepare your home for fall and winter. Come on by to pick up anything you may need to get your home ready or to ask any question you may have. We are happy to help, so contact us!
With winter upon us, our homes are much colder and our electricity bills are skyrocketing. Turning up the heater is the first thing we do as soon as we feel the cold, but there are other alternatives. If you invest in the appropriate window coverings, you won’t have to run the heater as often and will save a bunch of money. Although, purchasing blinds can require a large upfront payment, you are making an investment in your home and it will pay off.
Does It Really Work?
Of course it does! Windows are the greatest source of cold into and warmth out of your house. It has been said that windows account for 40% of heat loss in homes. You spend all this money on a heater, just to lose almost half of it to the outside. Installing blinds wouldn’t allow this loss to occur. If you are able to trap a layer of air in between blinds and the window, the heat won’t be able to escape and cold won’t be able to enter.
How to Make the Most of Your Blinds
Making the most of the newest addition to your home is actually quite simple. The best way to control the temperature in your home without touching the thermostat is to time the opening and closing of your blinds. During the day, you are going to want to open the blinds to let in all the sunlight and warmth. However, when dusk falls, close the blinds to keep the natural heat inside and the cold out.
The Right Window Coverings For You
Because every home and customer is different, there is not a one-size-fits-all window covering. The perfect window covering for you depends on the style you are looking for, the size of your windows, and the cold protection you desire. Louie’s Ace Hardware offers a wide variety of mini-blinds and basic rollers to fit any need. In addition, at Louie’s, you are able to special order products from Hunter Douglas. Whatever your style, we have you covered!
The Reno Tahoe area has had one of the most extreme winters that we have had in years. With a flurry of winter storms, it has become even more important to winterize your car and prepare for emergencies. If you end up stuck in a storm, slid off the road, or in an accident, you may end up stranded in severe temperatures. In these situations, it’s important to prepare beforehand with the proper emergency car kit.
At Louie’s Ace Hardware, we carry all the essentials that you need to create an emergency kit for your car. Here’s the items we recommend carrying for winter safety in case you get stuck in a blizzard.
Basic Car Safety Kit
This is the basic kit that we recommend having in your car year-round. These essentials also serve in cold weather too. If you need to replenish your safety kit, it’s a good idea to do this before heading out into any kind of severe weather.
- Good first aid kit
- Basic car tool kit
- Spare tire
- Good pair of jumper cables
Cold Weather Bag for Winter Emergencies
In addition to your basics, we also recommend having a cold weather bag, specifically stocked with emergency items needed in a blizzard. Here’s some items that you should keep in your vehicle this winter:
- Water (take fresh water into car that isn’t frozen during each trip)
- Battery charger for phone
- Rescue tool (with seatbelt cutter to easily escape car)
- Back-up phone
- Ice scraper
- Portable shovel
- Emergency blanket
- Emergency candle
- Tow cables
- Repair manual (keep this in your car always)
- Tarp/fire Starter kit (if you need to leave the car)
- Duct tape (this can be used for many purposes)
Emergency Items for Your Glove Box
In the case of an emergency, you may not be able to access all areas of your car. Keeping your glove box stocked with safety items can give you quicker access to a few basics.
- Contact book with phone numbers
- Mini first aid kid
- Hand warmers
- Plastic bags/wipes (for sanitation)
Winter Clothing for Your Car
In case you must exit your car or walk to get help, it’s important to have proper winter clothing and layers that can keep you warm in freezing temperatures.
- Warm sweater
We hope this check-list helps you prepare for winter storms. Stop by Louie’s for all your winterizing needs. We’d love to help you put together your next emergency kit and choose the right items for your vehicle.
After the summer fun is done and the last camping day of fall has passed, it’s time to start thinking about winterizing your RV. Winterizing your RV may seem like a daunting task. But at Louie’s Ace Home Center, we have everything you need to get the job done. If you are staying in your RV, you are going to want to keep your water lines functional. Be sure to wrap your lines with foil and open your faucets slightly if you are planning to stay in the RV. If you are storing it, follow these simple steps to winterize your RV.
- Mind the water lines: You will need to drain and dry your water lines before storage. How do you do this? First, open the “petcock” and allow everything to drain except the water heater. What’s the petcock? The petcock is a small valve used for draining. It’s usually located by the water tank.
- Drain the holding tanks and open the faucets: Flush both tanks simultaneously. Some RVs come with a built-in tank system. If yours doesn’t, clean your tanks with a wand. Take the refuse to a dump station. Toilet, shower, sinks, open them all to winterize your RV. Flush the toilet until you are sure all the water has emptied out.
- Blow out the lines and seal them up: Purchase a compressed air adapter or blowout plug. Attach it to the water intake fitting and use a standard air compressor (like the ones you use to inflate the tires on your car) to blow out your water lines. This gets rid of excess water and prevents the dilution of your anti-freeze. Do this at a maximum of 50 psi. Replace your caps, close the faucets, and close the petcock. As a reminder, the petcock is the valve you opened to drain your water in the first place.
- Detach the compressor and add anti-freeze to your lines: Make sure to detach the air compressor. This is an important step! You can add pink RV antifreeze from the inside with a hand pump from outside. You can also choose whether or not you want to use a bypass (note: bypasses require more anti-freeze). Do not drain the water heater before you have added your anti-freeze. You will use 2 to 3 gallons of anti-freeze. If you can’t bypass your water heater, you will need 6 to 10 gallons. After the anti-freeze is in, turn on your fresh water pump and let it run. This video demonstrates this process thoroughly.
- Turn on your faucets: Turn on the faucets and test the systems until they run pink. That’s how you know the anti-freeze has filled up your lines.
- Don’t forget about other appliances or to re-connect your lines: Toilets, washing machines, icemakers, and showers need anti-freeze too. Make sure they have anti-freeze to winterize an RV. You will drain your water heater last. Take it out of the anti-freeze jug and reconnect it to the fresh water tank.
To fully winterize your RV, be sure to remove any perishables, laundry, trash, and valuable items. Fix anything that is broken as it will make it easier to use the RV when its time. Cover all your vents and holes so pests don’t see your winterized RV as a place to get warm. Cover your RV with an RV cover, and don’t forget your tires, too. Some people lift their RVs to take the pressure off the tires as well.