The seasons are quickly changing and overnight temperatures are frequently reaching freezing. Now is the time to take precautions to prevent winter damage to your home, common areas and neighbors.
- Have fall/winter preventative maintenance performed on your HVAC system to ensure it is in proper working order.
- Turn on utility room heaters, if present. This is especially important for condominium units with sprinklers on balconies or water pipes and water heaters in utility rooms on balconies. Set these heaters to a mid-range temperature and check regularly during the winter season to ensure they are properly functioning.
- Open cabinets under sinks during cold spells to allow warm air to get to the pipes.
- During severe cold spells, allow faucets to drip to ensure water in the lines do not freeze.
- NEVER set your thermostat lower than 60 degrees, even if you are away for an extended period. DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR UTILITIES, EVEN IF YOUR HOME IS VACANT. Many condominiums are designed to depend on the heat from each unit to warm water supply lines or sprinkler lines throughout the building. If you turn off your utilities, your pipes are at risk of freezing. The cost to repair this damage is significantly greater than the cost to keep the unit warm while vacant.
- Seal off access doors, air vents and cracks to the outside. Pay special attention to electrical outlets on outside walls and windows.
- Find the shut off valve for your unit! It may be near the water heater, the washing machine or where the water line comes into your home. If a pipe bursts anywhere in the house this valve turns it off. Find it now and place a bright hang tag on it. Be sure everyone in the family knows where it is and what it does.
- Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses, if part of your unit. Turn off the water to all outdoor spigots and allow the spigot to remain open over the winter. A single hard, overnight freeze can burst faucets and pipes.