Best Techniques For Winterizing Your Water Pipes
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Best Techniques For Winterizing Your Water Pipes

Imagine my surprise when I came home from work one freezing cold evening and found water flooding my basement. I ran to turn off the water and then I called the plumber. Even though it was late in the evening, the plumber immediately came to my house and fixed the busted water line. The plumber told me that I could have prevented my water line from freezing and busting if I had winterized the pipes. After researching various methods, I insulated the pipes so they won't freeze again. My name is Joel Hampton and this blog is about the different ways to winterize your plumbing pipes to keep them from freezing. Coming home to a basement filled with water is a nightmare and I hope that after reading the information in my blog, it won't happen to you.


Best Techniques For Winterizing Your Water Pipes

3 Planning Tips For Retrofitting A New Heating System

Carla Taylor

HVAC upgrades are one of the best things you can do to improve an old home. Upgrades make your home more comfortable all year long while also saving you significant money on your utility bills. However, HVAC tends to be pricy, so going into the process blind can end up costing you more money than you might expect.

While an experienced heating contractor can help you realize your goals, a little research beforehand will ensure your project stays on-budget and meets your expectations. These three tips will help you to make some crucial decisions about heating upgrade projects of any scope.

1. Learn About Your Old System

If you own an older home, then you know that maintenance and upgrades are never straightforward. Most new construction uses forced-air heating powered by gas, electricity, or oil, but many older homes provide heating with hot water or steam. Hydronic radiant heating offers many advantages, but its installation and maintenance costs make it an unpopular choice for many buyers.

Before considering any upgrade, it's crucial to understand the type of system in your home. If your home uses hydronic heating (and doesn't have existing ductwork for central AC), adding a forced-air system can be expensive. Likewise, retrofitting hydronic heating to a forced-air home often involves significant demolition to install new plumbing in floors, ceilings, and walls.

2. Determine Your Efficiency Goals

A great reason to upgrade an old heating system is to improve its energy efficiency. Fortunately, you can realize significant efficiency gains on any heating system. Newer furnaces and boilers both boast efficiency (AFUE) ratings above 90% for gas models, and even better efficiency is possible if you choose a high-end condensing model.

If efficiency is your primary goal, then heat pumps are another option to consider. Heat pumps work best when the outside temperature doesn't fall too low, but models with secondary heaters can work in most climates. A heat pump offers significantly better efficiency than a furnace, and you can easily retrofit one into a home with existing ductwork.

3. Consider Smaller Upgrades

If you are installing new heating components, it is the perfect time to consider a few more minor upgrades, as well. If your home uses forced-air heating, then have your contractor inspect your ducts and repair any issues. Old ductwork can be leaky, which can reduce the overall performance and efficiency of your system. Taking care of this along with your upgrade ensures that you'll get the most from your new equipment.

You may also want to consider installing new control hardware, such as programmable or even smart thermostats. These simple devices can improve your heating efficiency and make your heating system easier to use. Small changes like this are an excellent way to make your new heating system feel like a genuine upgrade for your home.

To learn more, contact a heating contractor.