It’s coming … winter weather is on its way, and according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the Indianapolis area is preparing for a colder than normal season, with above normal snowfall … at least through February!
We’ve put together three easy tasks you can accomplish now to protect your home and property from winter’s approaching chill — and even save you time and money next spring, too.
1. Keep Garden Hoses & Air Conditioning Lines from Freezing
Water left in hoses or pipes can freeze in the cold, which can damage or even burst the equipment, especially if they’re going to be left outdoors.
- Start by turning off water spigots and water shutoff valves to garden hoses and air conditioning units.
- Remove any hose attachments like sprinklers or spray nozzles, and disconnect hoses from water spigots or air conditioning units.
- Un-kink hoses and drain water, allowing some time for the water to drip out completely
- Looping a hose in a circle prevents it from kinking during storage; it also helps to push any remaining water out.
- Prevent hoses from cracking, freezing or kinking by storing them indoors, or outdoors in the warmest location (next to the house, for instance), in a large bucket or on a hose hanger.
While you’re at it … now’s a great time to remove air conditioning units from windows, vacuum the inside and put them away in storage, or cover an outdoor air conditioning unit with a tarp or air conditioner cover.
2. Winterize Outdoor Furniture
Most patio furniture and accents are made to remain outdoors during the winter, yet it’s still a good idea to prepare it for the harsh weather ahead. Plan to cover all of it with a tarp until spring.
- Give powder-coated aluminum furniture extra protection from rust by giving it a wash, touching up any scratches with car paint and applying an automotive wax.
- Remove any rust from wrought iron furniture and give it a coat of exterior spray paint designed for use specifically for wrought iron.
- Power wash plastic furniture and dry completely. Consider giving it a coat of spray paint designed for plastic, too – and make plans to store it inside, to prevent it from becoming brittle.
- Brush off or vacuum cushions and umbrellas and wash off mildew and mold with soap that’s meant to be used for outdoor fabrics. Plan to store foam-stuffed cushions and the fabric part of umbrellas indoors.
- Teak furniture wears well in the elements, which gives it a weathered patina that many homeowners prize. However, you can maintain its original color by giving it a coat of specialty oil at least once a year. Revive other painted or stained wood furniture with a recommended acrylic paint.
- Store natural rattan pieces indoors and keep dry. Synthetic wicker furniture is built to remain outdoors.
- Store tables with tile or mosaic tops indoors.
3. Install Storm Windows and Doors
When the wind starts to blow, the extra protection from storm windows and doors can increase the energy efficiency of your home by 45%!
- If your storm windows and doors were prepared properly for storage in the spring, pull them out and install. Look for any damage that may have occurred in storage before hanging them.
- If your windows are older, consider upgrading to new energy efficient windows, which could qualify you for a tax credit.
- If you don’t have storm windows, hire a professional to install Low-E film directly to the glass of your windows and door windows.
- Consider buying a do-it-yourself window insulation kit at your local home center. Plastic applied to windows (or doors) can add extra from drafts and the still air space helps your house hold its heat.
While you’re at it … get crafty with avoiding air drafts that can waste loads of energy with draft snakes. Make this remedy that dates back to the Great Depression yourself, using some scrap material sewed together and filled with sand or kitty litter. Or roll up a bath towel and place it in front of that space between the door and floor, or on top of a windowsill.
Our expert staff is always on hand to help you plan your next winterizing project. From heaters and air conditioning equipment to pressure washers and everything in-between, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.