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Tom7227

Getting ready for winter

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I thought it may be useful to share some ideas on what you can do to get ready for winter around the house.

Today it seems that making sure that the outdoor faucets are squared away is a good move. There are two types of them. The old ones have a separate shutoff inside the house that you have to turn off. There is a small cap on that valve and you should open it to drain out the water that remains in the line to the outside. The other type is a self draining setup that drains out the water when you turn it off. No matter which type you have you need to take the hose off the outside valve to make sure there isn't a problem. Sometimes the shutoff valve drips a bit and it the hose is still attached it could result in the whole thing freezing and then causing a leak inside your home. With typical luck that will result in water coming down onto your electrical panel on Christmas Eve and you will pay a fortune for both a plumber and electrician to come and fix things up.

Add more ideas if they come to you.

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Replace furnace filters, one that everyone forgets about, clean out your dryer ducts and make sure the flapper works to keep cold air from entering the house. Check weather stripping and make sure windows are actually closed. Heck I could post my fall Honey Do List for about two pages of stuff to do.... grin

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I just lowered the temp in my house so the a/c would kick on. Someday my heater will be on for a couple weeks. Good luck with winter. I kind of miss the cold.

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Do you guys leave your (unhooked) garden hoses / reels outdoors OR do you pull them indoors?

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Clean your gutters one last time after all the leaves have gone.

If you are prone to ice dams, and didn't adjust your insulation and attic venting, I suggest running a heat cable through any valleys and at least down and over a spot or two in your gutter if you have it. This will let you make sure the is a channel for any backing up water to escape from. Easier to do it now than with a roof full of ice, and hardware store shelves empty of cable boxes wink

I blow out my hose reels with compressor, or even just using your lungs will do it enough. I used to put them in garage, but found they live fine outside without taking up valuable garage space smile

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Do you guys leave your (unhooked) garden hoses / reels outdoors OR do you pull them indoors?

I unscrew them and leave them on their reels. I make no special effort to make sure they are empty. Been OK for years now.

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I wouldn't worry much about the hoses. If anything, just unreel it in a straight line down an inclined part of your yard to get 99.9% of the water out, then re-reel it up and you'll never have a problem with the tiny drops that are left.

Blow out underground sprinklers if you haven't already. With sprinklers, high volume and low pressure are key. Might as well just hire this one out, IMHO...unless you've got one of those really big compressors that can do 80+ cfm.

Use stabil in all of your small engines, engage gas line cutoff where available, run the fuel out of the carbs if you can. Some of that fog in the cylinders is usually not a bad idea, but I am lazy and only do this on the boat.

One thing I like to do is take the screens off all the windows in the fall. It makes the house look just that much brighter, and it's not like I am worried about bugs coming in mid-winter if I did have to open the window for something *burnt toast?*. Plus if you want to clean the windows in the spring you'll be taking them off anyway, so now you're one step ahead and you get to look through screen-free windows all winter. (also, do this if you ever sell your house, it's a surprising difference)

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The only thing I do with hoses is unscrew them from the faucet and each other so there's no water trapped in the brass fittings. The hoses themselves will expand as the water freezes but not the fittings. Other than that, I leave them out in a shed all winter.

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Drain the hose so it is available to be used in an emergency such as draining a leaking hot water tank or un plugging a frozen drain etc.

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Quote:
One thing I like to do is take the screens off all the windows in the fall. It makes the house look just that much brighter, and it's not like I am worried about bugs coming in mid-winter if I did have to open the window for something *burnt toast?*. Plus if you want to clean the windows in the spring you'll be taking them off anyway, so now you're one step ahead and you get to look through screen-free windows all winter. (also, do this if you ever sell your house, it's a surprising difference)

Great tip Aanderud! I took all of mine off this last weekend and you are correct, it really brightens up the room.

I always pull the hoses and drain them in the driveway. I had a couple unhappy tree frogs that were going to make the hose their winter home. They were moving a little when they came out but they were very slow. Not so sure that was the best plan for them.

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If you have windows that have some moisture on them in the mornings removing the screens for the winter will let these windows dry during the day.

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