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WINTER SURVIVAL TIPS FROM THE EXPERTS!

BABY IT'S COLD OUTSIDE!

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Extreme cold weather can be hard on both you and your home.

Here are some tips to put into practice when freezing weather, snow, and ice hit your area.

HOW TO DEAL WITH FROZEN PIPES:

  • Disconnect and drain garden hoses.
  • Cover outside faucets with insulating foam covers.
  • Turn off water to outside faucets, if available, and open valves on faucets to allow them to drain.
  • Turn off sprinkler system and blow compressed air through the lines to drain them.
  • Close or cover foundation vents under house and windows to basements.
  • Close garage doors.
  • Insulate exposed pipes (both hot and cold) under house with foam pipe insulation.
  • Open cabinet doors under sinks.
  • Drip hot and cold faucets in kitchen and bath. Drip single control faucets with lever set in middle.
  • Set icemaker to make ice if the water line to it runs under the house.
  • Don’t forget to check on pipes to your washing machine in the laundry room
  • Locate water main cut-off valve, and have a cut-off key handy.
  • 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 frozen pipes to allow water to begin flowing through it.
  • 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.


HOW TO KEEP YOUR HOME WARM WHEN IT'S FREEZING OUTSIDE:

  • Have your furnace inspected before cold weather arrives. Inspect the heat exchanger for cracks, install a clean air filter, and check the thermostat to see if it’s working properly.
  • Inspect fireplaces, and chimneys before using, and have them cleaned if needed.
  • Keep drapes and blinds closed, except when windows are in direct sunlight.
  • Put up storm windows, or install sheet plastic window insulation kits on the inside of windows.
  • Cover or remove any window air conditioners.
  • Insulate electrical outlets and switches on exterior walls with foam seals available at home centers.
  • Caulk any cracks or holes on the outside of your house.
  • Repair or replace weather stripping and thresholds around doors and windows.
  • Run paddle ceiling fans on low in reverse (clockwise when looking up) to circulate warm air.
  • Put draft snakes on window sills, between window frames, and against doors.
  • If you heat with propane or fuel oil, make sure the tank is full.
  • If you heat with wood or coal, have plenty of fuel on hand.


HOW TO PROTECT THE OUT SIDE OF YOUR HOME FROM THE EXTREME COLD:

  • Clean your gutters and downspouts before cold weather arrives to prevent ice from forming in them.
  • Spray an ice repellent solution on steps and walks before freezing weather arrives
  • Check antifreeze levels in cars. Add if needed, then run the engine to circulate the new antifreeze through the radiator and engine block.
  • Add freeze resistant windshield wiper fluid, and spray to circulate it in lines.
  • Check air pressure in tires, since cold weather causes the pressure to lower.
  • Bring in container plants, add mulch around plants, and cover plants that are prone to frost damage. Remove covering when temperatures warm above freezing.
  • Drain birdbaths and fountains
  • Gently sweep snow off plants and shrubs in an upward motion with a broom.
  • Use rock salt, sand, or clay based kitty litter on walks and drives (NOTE: Salt can damage grass and other plants).
  • Don’t overdo it when using a snow shovel.
  • Stay off your roof during freezing weather, but once the ice and snow have melted, inspect your roof for any damage.How to Stay Safe in an Ice or Snow Storm.
  • Stockpile nonperishable food and water.
  • Refill prescription medications in advance of storm.
  • Fill car with gas.
  • Charge cell phones.
  • Have flashlights, batteries, a weather radio, and a manual can opener on hand.
  • A portable generator can come in handy when the lights go out, but take precautions to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning when using.
  • Make sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and the batteries powering them are fresh.
  • Have a working fire extinguisher on hand for emergencies.
  • A chain saw can come in handy for removing broken limbs after an ice storm.

KEEPING OUR FURRY FRIENDS SAFE!

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When the weather outside is frightful, your pets could be at risk!

Remember these tips to keep your pets safe this winter:

  • Know your dog’s limits! Some dogs are more susceptible to the cold than others. Short-coated, thin, elderly, or very young dogs get cold more quickly – so adjust the amount of time they stay outside! If your dog enjoys being outdoors and you will be outside longer than a few minutes, consider outfitting it with a sweater or coat to keep it warm. Hypothermia and frostbite pose major risks to dogs in winter, so remember, if it is too cold for you, it is probably too cold for your dog!
  • Check the hood! Cats often sleep in the wheel wells of cars during the winter months to keep warm. If you start your car and a cat is sleeping on your tire, it can be severely hurt or even killed by moving engine parts. Prevent injuries by banging loudly on your hood or honking the horn before starting your car. This will wake up the cat and give it a chance to escape before starting the car.
  • Wipe their paws! During winter walks, your dog’s paws can pick up all kinds of toxic chemicals – salt, antifreeze, or de-icers. Be sure to wipe off your dog’s paws when you return from walks to prevent him from licking it off and becoming sick. Purchase pet-safe de-icers for your home for an extra level of safety. And when wiping off your dog’s paws, remember to check for signs of injury, such as cracked or bleeding paws.
  • Keep them leashed! More pets become lost in the winter than any other season because snowfall can disguise recognizable scents that would normally help them find their way home. Prevent your pets from becoming lost by keeping dogs leashed on walks and, just in case you are separated from your pets, make sure their collars have up-to-date contact information and they are microchipped.
  • Avoid the ice! When walking your dog, be sure to avoid frozen lakes and ponds. Your dog could be seriously hurt or even killed if the ice breaks.
  • Leave them home! Just as hot cars are dangerous for pets in the summer, cold cars pose a threat as well! Only take your pets in the car if it is necessary, and never leave them unattended.
  • Be seen! Due to Daylight Savings, many of us are relegated to walking our dogs in the dark. Keep yourself and your dog are safe by wearing reflective gear (clothing, leash, collar, etc) and keeping your dog close when walking on the street.
  • Give them shelter! Ideally, all pets should live inside. If your pets live outdoors primarily, bring them indoors during sub-zero temperatures. For the rest of the winter, provide them with a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough to allow them to sit and lay down comfortably, but small enough to conserve body heat.  The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw.  Turn the shelter so it faces away from the wind and cover the doorway with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic. Also, pets who spend a lot of time outside need more food to replace energy lost from trying to stay warm. Use plastic food and water dishes instead of metal – when the temperature is low enough, your pets’ tongue can become stuck to metal.
  • Avoid spills! Antifreeze attracts cats and dogs because it is very sweet to taste, but it is extremely poisonous and can cause serious illness or death when ingested. Be sure to clean up any antifreeze that spills in your garage, and keep the bottle somewhere your pets cannot access.
  • Be prepared! Winter brings extreme weather that can cause power outages. Have an emergency plan and make sure they include your pets! Have an emergency kit with enough food, water, and medication to last your pets at least five days. Most likely you will never need it, but if you do, you will be thankful you planned ahead!

24-HOUR EMERGENCY SERVICE!

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 When you lose heating  or hot water in the winter, small problems can become huge problems very quickly! We know you want a fast response and since your time and comfort are important to us, our dedicated team at American Heating Service, diligently works to get your current system repaired or install a new system for you as quickly as possible!


We understand how important it is to speak with a knowledgeable person when a problem occurs, which is why one of the owners or a service technician from American Heating Service will always be at the other end of the line to answer your call, day or night. You DO NOT get an answering service...this has always been part of our business model and always will be. 

We understand our customers' needs and that a breakdown in your heating, hot water systems doesn't always happen during normal business hours... ​That’s why we offer 24/7* emergency availability and friendly staff to answer your questions no matter what time you call.​.