With winter just around the corner, Long Island homeowners are surely prepared for the heating season and have surely had their oil or gas heating systems checked by a full-service home heating company – such as Tragar Oil, your Long Island green energy company – in preparation for cold winter temperatures we experience here in the Northeast.
However, just as northern birds migrate south for the winter, many homeowners on Long Island and in New York prefer to pack up and head to warmer climates to avoid frigid weather. These Long Island snowbirds spend their winters down south or out west and return to their homes in the springtime when the weather turns milder on the island.
Sounds easy, right? However, if you’re a snowbird or aspire to become one, then, as a homeowner, there are certain things that need to be done to ensure your home securely survives the winter worry- and problem-free while you’re away.
How to Close Your Long Island Home for the Winter
So that homeowners who are snowbirds better understand how to properly shut down their homes for the winter, the home heating experts at Tragar Oil have compiled a checklist of key tasks that need to be done before they lock up their homes to soak up the sun elsewhere:
- Leave your furnace set to no lower than 55 degrees.
- Install a red safety light that will turn on if your system shuts down.
- Make sure the safety light is visible through a window to alert neighbors of any emergency.
- Shut off your water supply completely, including any sprinkler system.
- Wrap any outdoor exposed pipes with insulation.
- Drain your entire plumbing system.
- Check for any loose or missing shingles and replace them.
- Prevent the formation of any ice dams in your gutters by adding extra insulation and ensuring proper airflow in your attic or upper crawlspace.
- Check the flashing around your chimney or other roof projections to prevent melting ice or snow from getting into your attic.
- Check your attic, upper crawlspace and upstairs ceilings for water stains and potential leaks before you leave and upon your return.
Doors and Windows
- Install storm doors and windows. Check for leaks in their frames and repair as needed.
- Check your entrance doors’ alignments. If they aren’t hanging straight, then adjust the hinges and strike plates.
- Apply weather stripping around doors, and replace thresholds if worn.
- If you need more protection against extreme cold, then further insulate your windows with shrink wrap. Apply two-sided tape to the window frame, press the plastic to it, and gently heat with an air dryer until taut.
- Don’t forget to check your garage door, an oft-overlooked entryway that can compromise your over-wintering heating.
Siding and Other Concerns
- Check your siding for cracks and weak spots. Make sure no siding is loose. Be alert for any places where water can collect and do damage, or where bugs or rodents can possibly gain entry. Repair as needed.
- And, of course, be sure to stop your utility services: TV cable, Internet and any land-line telephone. Plus, put a hold on your mail.
Happy snowbirding in warmer climes! For more information about closing down your home for the winter, contact Tragar, your Long Island Heating and Cooling Company, today.
Our green energy experts can answer any questions about ensuring your home weathers the winter well while you’re away. Our home heating pros can also help you learn more about our oil and gas service programs and make sure you’ve scheduled an annual inspection and cleaning for your oil and gas heating systems. Don’t forget to ask about our free, no-obligation quote, or click here for a free estimate right away!