From our Customer Care Team:
We hope you are enjoying these cooler winter months spending time by the fire sipping hot cocoa! As cooler temperatures continue, we advise you to be aware of freeze warnings and take precautionary steps to protect one of your most valued possessions - your home.
Here are a few tips to help you prepare for potentially harsh weather ahead!
Be aware of your water main cut-off valve location and know that this can be cut off during extreme temperatures. In many Eastwood homes, the cut-off is located in the pantry or garage. If you are unsure of where your cut-off is located, contact our warranty department.
In the rare instance that your pipes freeze, use a hair dryer, heat lamp, electric heat tape, or a portable space heater to thaw frozen pipes that have not burst. Keep the faucet open when thawing to allow water to begin flowing.
After the weather has warmed above freezing and any frozen pipes have thawed, turn off dripping faucets and monitor your water meter to check for unseen leaks.
In case of emergency, locate the contact numbers of your plumber and electrician. In most Eastwood homes, a list of emergency contacts is taped inside one of your kitchen cabinets.
As always, if you have a routine warranty request, do not hesitate to reach out to our warranty team by visiting our warranty page here. We strive to respond to all requests within 24-48 hours.
Below are a few additional tips to help protect your home!
1. Tankless Water Heater:
If you have a tankless water heater, wrap the heater in heat tape or the heating blanket made for your heater. When covering the tank, be sure not to cover the motor area at the bottom. During cool temperatures, you will want your water heater to remain ON. To engage your water heater to remain on, leave the hot water side of one of your faucets on a slow drip.
2. Standard Water Heater:
Keep faucets and showers at a slow drip - both hot and cold, in the kitchen and bath. For single-control faucets, set the level in the middle to control drip. Open closet doors and under sink vanity cabinets to keep pipes at room temperature and allow the exchange of air within the room.
3. House Temperature:
Keep your home at NO LOWER than 60 degrees during extreme temperatures. Keep your drapes and blinds closed except when windows are in direct sunlight.
4. Space Heaters:
Be aware that space heaters can trip your breakers. Remember to check the AMPs required before using your heater. As an additional precaution, unplug any other devices while your space heater is in use.
5. Garden Hoses and Outdoor Faucets:
If you haven't already, disconnect and drain your garden hoses. Cover outside faucets with insulating foam covers. Foam covers can easily be found in most hardware stores. Turn off water to outside faucets, if available, and open valves on faucets to allow them to drain.
6. Foundation Vents:
Close or cover foundation vents under your home and any windows to your basement (if applicable).
7. Garage Doors:
Keep your garage door closed! Exposure of the connecting interior wall can cause pipes to freeze more rapidly. Check your weather stripping around the garage door. If needed, lay old beach towels or blankets at the bottom of the door to keep the cool air out!
8. Heat Pump:
Run your ceiling fans on LOW in REVERSE (clockwise when looking up) to circulate warm air. If the heat pump in your home should fail, activate the emergency switch on the thermostat. The red light indicates that it is ON. This will stop the heat pump from operating and will provide supplemental heat until the HVAC contractor arrives. Additionally, change your air filter regularly. A dirty filter will prevent the heat pump from working properly.
9. Sidewalks, Driveways, and Walkways:
Use sand, clay-based kitty litter, or high-performance ice and snow melt (found at most hardware stores) on walks and drives to prevent slipping! Avoid using de-icing agents with damaging salts as these can be harsh to your concrete. Brush snow off of gutters and away from downspouts, as applicable.
10. Protect Your Plants:
Remember, your plants get cold too! Bring container plants indoors. Gently sweep snow off of any outdoor plants and shrubs in an upward motion with a broom.
11. Fireplace and Wood Burning Stove:
Follow all instructions for the safe operation of any fireplace or wood-burning stove. Before operating your fireplace, open the flue damper and outside air vent fully. Visually check that the flue is not obstructed. Do not build a fire on the fireplace floor. Always preheat the flue by lighting a piece of newspaper onto the logs, making sure that the smoke is being carried up the chimney. Close the damper only when the fire is completely out.
12. Outdoor Sprinkler System:
Winterize and drain your outdoor sprinkler system. Turn the timers to OFF during the winter months.
We hope these tips help YOU to help protect your home this winter. As always, we’d like to thank you for selecting Eastwood Homes as your builder. We’re honored to have helped create a warm retreat for you and your family! Bundle up and keep warm. We look forward to continuing to serve you.
Eastwood Homes Warranty Team
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