With winter upon us, let’s consider some of the pros and cons of the season:
- Pro: Winter is the most wonderful time of the year! The song says so, afterall.
- Pro: Winter brings with it tons of fun, seasonal activities, including the Manhattan Festival of Lights and the annual downtown Christmas parade.
- Pro: Shorter days and time off from work and school mean an increase in quality time with your family.
On the other hand, con: Winter weather is…cold. Sometimes bitterly cold.
- Con: Did we mention the cold weather?
- Con: Preparing your home for winter can feel overwhelming.
While preparing your home for winter is a necessity every year, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. At Energy Center-Manhattan Pool, we are certified, recommended, and experienced in helping Manhattanites prepare for Kansas winters, with over 50 years of experience in the home and outdoor living industry. Here are our eight pro tips for winterizing your Kansas home this year.
Close Your Pool for Winter
If you haven’t done so already, you need to close your pool for winter. We recommend closing your pool once the weather is consistently below 65 degrees F, which in Manhattan, Kansas is typically around mid-October. Closing your pool is an essential step to protect the pipes, filter, pump, and other pool components from damage in freezing temperatures. Check out these tips for closing your pool for winter or reach out to our service team at Energy Center-Manhattan Pool to close your pool for you.
Have Your Fireplace Inspected by a Certified Chimney Sweep
Nothing beats a cozy, crackling fireplace on a chilly winter night! But before you light up your first fire of the year, let one of our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps inspect and clean your fireplace. After months of not being used, it’s important to have your fireplace and chimney examined to protect your family and your home. Our team will perform an extensive and exhaustive inspection along with a thorough cleaning. Read here for more about why you need a fireplace inspection every year.
Winterizing Your Lawn
Your lawn could use a little TLC before the Kansas winter sets. Start by giving your grass a winter trim by mowing on a lower blade setting. The ideal height is somewhere between ½ inch to 1.5 inches lower than your typical blade height. After trimming, aerate your lawn and apply a winter fertilizer. It is also a good idea to winterize your sprinkler system. While the process can vary depending on your system, you need to drain the pipes and close the valves.
Consider Adding an Energy Efficient Heat Source
Going into winter, it’s good to have a plan for how to best warm your home. Keeping your house warm through those cold Kansas days can create quite a pricey electrical bill. Instead, consider adding an energy-efficient heat source. High-efficiency pellet stoves use a combination of compressed wood pellets and electricity to run, resulting in significantly lower energy use. Not to mention, they are very effective at heating your home!
Now is a great time to purchase a pellet stove thanks to the Pellet and Wood Stove Tax Credit. Now through the end of 2022, you can receive a 26% credit for the purchase and installation of qualifying pellet stoves. Starting in 2023, the tax credit percentage will go to 30% with a $2000 cap per year. To learn more about pellet stoves or all the details on the Pellet and Wood Stove Tax Credit, contact our team.
Prepare Your Hot Tub for Winter
Just the thought of soaking in a hot tub on a winter’s night is relaxing! The cool weather just seems to enhance the enjoyment and increase the benefits. Is your hot tub ready for winter? Before the outside temperature is too cold to do so, drain and refill the water in your hot tub. While your hot tub is drained, give it a thorough cleaning and inspection. You can also stop by our store in Manhattan to stock up on the hot tub chemicals you’ll need for winter and add many fun hot tub accessories.
Check Your Home for Air Leaks
Your attic door, window seals, outlets, and exterior doors are all common places to lose heat and for the cold outside air to rush in. Not only is the cold air uncomfortable, but it can also lead to higher electrical costs. To check your home for these unwanted air leaks, you can first do a visual test. If you can see sunlight through these areas or if you feel air blowing through them, you most likely are losing interior air and have wasted energy. If you have concerns about this in your home, hire a technician to conduct a home energy audit to identify areas that need to be sealed.
Order Winter House Supplies
Waiting to stock up on winter house supplies until you need them can be a recipe for disaster. With ongoing supply chain issues and unpredictable winter weather, take the time now to order any winter house supplies you may need. This may include stocking up on firewood or wood pellets, de-icing salt for your sidewalk and steps, candles or lanterns in the event you lose power, and diesel for a generator (to be safely stored in a cool, dry place).
Prepare your Patio for Winter Use
Contrary to what you may have heard, patio season is all year long! To keep your patio warm and comfortable for use in the winter, add a heat source. At Energy Center-Manhattan Pool, we have several excellent ways to heat your patio and can help you find the best one for you.
You should also prepare your patio furniture for winter. For metal patio furniture, wash with soap and water, then coat with a winter protectant. For your fabric cushions, spot clean any stains and brush off or vacuum well. If you’d like, you can store cushions inside between uses for further protection. Apply a sealant to wood furniture to protect it from moisture in the winter.
Pros and cons aside, winter is here and our team at Energy Center-Manhattan Pool is ready to help you prepare for it! To learn more about how to winterize your Kansas home, give us a call or visit our store today! This winter, come find your gathering place at Energy Center-Manhattan Pool.