Although it’s difficult to imagine in the midst of the August heat – eventually the days will grow shorter as daily temperature drops. Therefore, it’s time to prepare our homes for the upcoming winter season. For our valued customers, who rely on propane and heating fuel to keep their homes warm, this is the time of year to prioritize winter preparedness and home heating safety. At Chaseburg Co-Op, we care about your well-being and have compiled this comprehensive guide to help you navigate the winter months safely and efficiently.
1. Inspecting and Maintaining Heating Systems
Before winter sets in, have your heating systems inspected and maintained by a licensed professional. Whether you rely on a propane furnace, boiler, or heating oil system, regular maintenance ensures optimal function, reducing the risk of breakdowns and increasing the efficiency of your system. We recommend scheduling an appointment early in the fall, allowing ample time for any necessary repairs or replacements.
2. Checking and Sealing Drafts
One of the easiest and most effective ways to conserve heat and reduce energy costs is by checking for drafts in your home. Inspect windows, doors, and other potential openings for leaks. Seal any gaps with weatherstripping or caulking to prevent cold air from entering and warm air from escaping. Additionally, proper insulation can significantly contribute to a cozy and comfortable home during the winter months.
3. Stocking Up on Heating Fuel
Ensure you have an adequate supply of propane or heating fuel to last through the winter. At Chaseburg Co-Op, we offer reliable and convenient fuel delivery services to our customers. Schedule your deliveries ahead of time, especially before heavy snowfall or severe weather conditions, to avoid running out of fuel in the middle of a cold spell.
4. Installing Carbon Monoxide Detectors
As we rely on heating systems more heavily during winter, the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) leaks increases. CO is a colorless and odorless gas that can be extremely dangerous and even deadly. Install carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of your home, especially near bedrooms. Test them regularly to ensure they are in working order, and replace the batteries annually.
5. Clearing Heating Vents and Chimneys
Blocked heating vents can hinder the proper distribution of warm air throughout your home. Check your vents and clear away any debris, dust, or obstructions. Similarly, for those with chimneys, have them inspected and cleaned by a professional chimney sweep to prevent the buildup of dangerous creosote and reduce the risk of chimney fires.
6. Winterizing Outdoor Plumbing
Exposed pipes and outdoor plumbing are susceptible to freezing during the Wisconsin winter, leading to potential bursts and water damage. Before the temperatures drop significantly, insulate outdoor pipes with foam pipe covers and disconnect garden hoses. If you have an irrigation system, drain the water to prevent it from freezing inside the pipes.
7. Emergency Preparedness
Winter storms can sometimes lead to power outages, making emergency preparedness vital. Create an emergency kit that includes essentials such as flashlights, batteries, non-perishable food items, bottled water, blankets, and a first-aid kit. Familiarize yourself with our co-op’s emergency protocols, and keep our contact information handy for prompt assistance during challenging situations.
8. Safe Storage of Propane
For customers who use propane, proper care of your propane tank is critical for safety. Never attempt to repair or modify propane equipment yourself; contact a qualified technician for repairs. Also, before the heating season begins, know how to shut off the gas supply and have an emergency plan in case of leaks or other hazards.
Winter in western Wisconsin is a beautiful yet challenging season, and it’s crucial to prioritize winter preparedness and home heating safety. At Chaseburg Co-Op, we take pride in providing our customers with top-notch propane and heating fuel delivery services. By following the tips in this guide, you can ensure your home remains warm, comfortable, and secure throughout the winter months. As always, contact our team to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have about your heating needs. Stay warm, stay safe!