Freezing cold temperatures are expected throughout North Alabama, leaving many homeowners wondering how to keep heating appliances safe in the cold.
According to Corbin’s “Your Indoor Air Quality Specialist” in Guntersville, people run into problems when they stop doing regular checkups.
For appliances like water heaters, pipes and HVAC units, the best thing to do is preventative maintenance. For an HVAC system, the founder and CEO of Corbin’s, Brad Corbin, recommends cleaning the outside coils every six to 12 months. If the coils are not clean, the system won’t absorb heat from the atmosphere. Plus, without regular maintenance, the system could fail, and buying a replacement unit is usually much more costly than an annual cleaning.
“A lot of folks only call if they have a problem. Preventative maintenance, if you can gauge yourself a preventative maintenance, you can save yourself thousands and thousands of dollars,” said Corbin.
As far as keeping pipes from bursting, Corbin said proper insulation is the best option. For those who do not have insulated pipes, he recommends leaving the faucet dripping. Turn two faucets on if possible, to have one running cold water and the other running hot water.
Corbin also recommended checking garage doors, crawl spaces and attics to make sure everything is secured before the cold weather arrives. These tips are especially important for those traveling out of town when cold weather hits.
While some contractors recommend leaving the thermostat set to 55 degrees, Corbin said with temperatures dipping below the teens, a safer option is 68 degrees. Although 68 degrees might seem warm and costly for those traveling for multiple days, Corbin argued repairs from a busted pipe are going to cost more than a high electric bill.
“I would rather spend a few dollars more on keeping my home heated if I’m out of town, knowing I got that piece of mind that hopefully my water pipes are going to be good,” said Corbin. “And if you’re going to be gone two or three weeks, if you got some relatives, I’d at least go by and check on the home.”
These freezing temperatures also have boat owners rushing to prep their appliances for winter. The best option to keeping your boat afloat, for those are not using theirs, is to winterize.
The process involves flushing and draining all of the water and replacing the gear and engine oil. The process may take a few hours to fully drain.
Some larger boats have heat pumps, and for those who will not be using their boat soon, Corbin said it’s a good idea to leave the heat on.
“A lot of these boats have heat pumps in them,” Corbin explained. “Your larger boats, some of these big house boats, they do have big heat pumps, and if you’re not going to be there soon and they’re not livable, I would probably leave the heat on it.”
For those who need help winterizing their boat, most local marinas can provide assistance or point you in the direction of a company to help out.
For any appliance, plumbing or HVAC needs, contact Corbin’s “Your Indoor Air Quality Specialist.”