6 Tips to Survive Winter

Winterize outdoor faucets and hoses.

Frozen water can destroy faucets, hoses and sprinkler systems. Make sure you remove all of your outdoor hoses and store them inside for the winter. Drain all faucets and sprinkler systems, or provide extra insulation if possible, to avoid bursting faucets and pipes as a result of frozen water. Also be sure to check for any leaks around outdoor faucets. If you find a leak, no matter how small, be sure to seal it up. Even the smallest amount of water can cause destruction of your faucet of sprinkler system.

Be prepared for winter storms.

Get out the snow blower and make sure it’s running smoothly. If it’s not, get it serviced now rather than waiting until after the first snow comes. Dig out and dust off those shovels and check your supply of ice melt – make sure you purchase more if you need it. It wouldn’t hurt to keep a small bag in the trunk of your car for emergency situations.

Remove leaves and debris that have collected outside.

Fall foliage is beautiful to admire, but it can be destructive if it isn’t taken care of at the end of the season. Make sure you clean out your gutters and downspouts to prep for the winter. Whether you get rain or snow during the winter months, leaving those leaves build up in your gutters and downspouts will not only get heavy, but also cause a backup as water drains from your roof. Speaking of your roof – make sure you don’t have a bunch of leaves or debris stuck anywhere on your roof, as that will eventually end up in your gutters and downspouts, too. Making sure everything is clean now can save you from an expensive disaster later. 

Inspect windows.

Are there any lose or cracked windows in your house? If so, replace them before the temperature drops too low, as those places provide a place for heat to escape in the winter. Also check the caulk and weather stripping on the outside of your windows and make sure you add or replace areas that have come lose or appear flimsy.

Keep your house and garage free of snow and slush.

Regardless of what holidays you’re celebrating this season, if you live in an area that gets snow in the winter, chances are you’re going to find it inside. Whether it’s you, your kids, friends or your car, it’s hard to prevent snow and slush from making its way into your garage and your home. With slush can come salt and all kinds of dirt – and when it melts, you have puddles. It’s a mess. Wiping up with paper towels or picking up chunks with your bare hands works, but it often takes several attempts to clean up and by the time you do clean it up, another batch has made its way back – making it an obstacle as you try to keep your house clean for the holidays. Imagine having the ability to simply vacuum up the mess in one quick and easy step. You will save time and keep your garage and house clean with a Shop-Vac® Wet Dry Vac. Any of the wet dry vac models will work well – we have a variety of sizes available, so choose a small portable wet dry vac or a larger industrial wet dry vac to tackle bigger messes.

Maximize heating efficiency.

If you have a hot water heater, consider draining it – some claim you can improve efficiency by up to 50% by simply draining the heater. The sediment that builds up can clog the pipes and cause it to run inefficiently or have problems that can be costly. You can also usually lower the water heater’s temperature – we’ve seen a few recommendations for the magical number of 120 degrees. Always read and follow all manufacturer’s directions and warnings for your specific water heater before doing any work on your own. For specific instructions on how to do it yourself, you can go here.

When it comes to heating your home, everyone’s heating system is different. If you use a wood or pellet stove, or a fireplace to heat your home or room, we have the perfect tool for keeping all of them clean and free of ashes; the Shop-Vac® Ash Vacuum*.
*Use to vacuum COLD ASHES ONLY.

In general, turning heat down for part of the day or night to save on energy costs works – the one exception would be if you have a heat pump. The amount you turn the heat down and back up depends on the efficiency of the heating system you have – it’s worth exploring, as many have the potential to save money on winter heating costs by making some fairly minor adjustments.