Getting Your Home Prepared for the Cold Temps

Here in Kansas City, we’re bracing ourselves for some of the coldest temperatures we’ve seen so far this winter season.  When the temperatures get to extremes, it’s important to make sure we’re prepared in all ways that we can be. Besides the obvious precautions like bringing your pets inside, we wanted to take the opportunity to share some ways that you can make sure your HOME is also ready to brave the elements.  



There is nothing more important during arctic air than making sure your furnace is working properly so that it can keep your home and family warm. When the temperatures are so low, your furnace will be working extra hard to heat your house. If your furnace filter needs to be changed, it’s very common for a furnace working overtime to overheat and then quit working all together….and right at the time when you need it most. If it has been a while, or if you think you might not have a good quality filter, change your furnace filter and make sure that it’s getting the best possible airflow. Since your furnace will be working so hard it’s likely that the unit itself will get warmer than usual…this goes for your water heater too. Check your basement and be sure that your furnace and water heater are free of clutter around them. You don’t want anything that could potentially catch on fire to be leaning up against the units.



There’s nothing worse than frozen water pipes during a winter blast like we are going to get. Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to prevent this catastrophe from ever happening at your house. First, double-check that the water is turned off to any of your exterior hose bibs. You might have already done this in the fall in preparation for our normal winter, but just in case, it’s always a good idea to double check. Next, if you have an interior faucet on an exterior wall that you know doesn’t have the best insulation, you should leave that faucet on at a trickle. The water moving through the lines will keep it from freezing. If your faucet on the exterior wall has a cabinet underneath it, leave the cabinet doors open below the sink so that the pipes underneath get the warm airflow from your house.  



It’s good practice during the winter to keep your garage door closed as much as possible. It’s such a huge area for warm air to escape from. Also, it’s important to keep the seal at the bottom of your garage door clear of snow and ice. It’s pretty common for the snow to build up against the door in this spot when it’s closed. If it does, and then the snow goes through melting and freezing again, it can freeze your garage door right to the concrete floor. 



Even if you’ve taken all of the precautions to make sure that your home is ready for the cold, it’s possible that you might find yourself in a predicament.  Here’s a helpful checklist for the two most common cold-weather headaches for homeowners.

IF your water pipes are frozen…
1. Find the main water shut off valve in your basement and turn off all water to your home.
2. Make a call to your plumber (we have a few we recommend if you don’t have one.)

3. Then you and your plumber will figure out where the problem is happening and try to isolate and heat the area.

IF your furnace stops working…
1. Check your home’s exterior to make sure that the vented PVC piping is not blocked by snow and ice.
2. Check the batteries in your thermostat.
3. Check to make sure your furnace has power. On a newer home there will be a power switch right on the furnace. In older homes, it could be a breaker or a fuse in the panel that needs to be checked.
4. Change your furnace filter to one with low static pressure. Even a brand-new filter from a big box store may not have low enough static pressure to keep your furnace running like it should.
5. Once you replace the filter, turn your furnace off and then back on again.

6. If it’s still not working, call your local HVAC dealer (we have good venders so give us a call if you need a referral.)

Stay warm everyone! Only 44 days until Spring!

-Rachel Deich of The Deich Team of Keller Williams Diamond Partners, Inc.


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