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‘Tis the Season to Be Prepared…Plumbing Tips for the Holidays

Now is the time we want everything ready for the winter holidays and storms. This is a season of extremes. Freezing outside and warm inside, weather worries and holiday celebrations. Good food and cheer - and flu warnings, winter sports fun and dangerous driving. These all converge on the darkest days of the year, crowding and pinching our hours of time, dividing our attention and distracting us even as we scramble to make sure everything is in order for whatever challenges and celebrations the season may bring.

So in this winter count-down here are a few items to put on your checklist to ensure warmth and holiday cheer, safety and economical energy, from your friends at Flaherty Plumbing!

Tip #1: Tune up!! 

1) Have your heating system professionally serviced once a year!! If you have not done this yet, it’s not too late! Call us, or ask to be on our annual call list, we'll call you!

2) Have your chimney flue, space heaters, water heater and fireplace checked.

3) Clean or replace your heating system filter every month during the heating season – a dirty or clogged filter forces your furnace and fan to work harder, which costs you more! You will also breathe easier if you clean or replace your filter more frequently.

4) Your furnace or boiler needs air to work properly (and efficiently). Make sure your heating equipment is unobstructed and has access to sufficient air intake. This is called “make-up air” (Not sure you have enough make-up air? Ask our technician to check it for you when he is in your home for any plumbing or heating service work.)

Tip #2: Turn Down!!

1) Dress in layers to keep yourself warmer while keeping the thermostat down.

2) Set your thermostat to 70 degrees or lower during the day.

3) Lower the temperature at night or when you are not at home (while working or at school). It takes less energy to warm up a cool house than to maintain a warm temperature all day and night! For every one degree you set your thermostat back, you can save one to three percent on your annual heating costs.

4) Install a programmable thermostat to turn the temperature up and down at preset times. Ask our technician to install one for you when he does that annual clean and check of your heating system! Massachusetts currently offers rebates of $25.00 per programmable thermostat! 

Tip #3: Take Care of those Pipes!

1) Locate and mark the main water cutoff valve for your home. This is usually found near where the water comes into your house. Damage from running water can be minimized if your turn off this valve quickly. 

2) Make sure the water line to outside faucets is turned off and that the lines are drained. Frozen Spigot

3) Consider wrapping or insulating your water pipes, especially those that are near outside walls, under the house or in the attic.  

4) Eliminate drafts! Check around your home for areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas and take measures to prevent the flow of cold air in these areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated, as both can freeze. 

If your water pipes do freeze, never try to thaw a pipe with an open flame or torch! 
Call the professionals at Flaherty Plumbing!!

Dec 2013