The seasons are quickly changing and overnight temperatures are now reaching freezing. Now is the time to take precautions to prevent winter damage to your unit, common areas and neighbors.
Have fall/winter preventative maintenance performed on your HVAC system to ensure it is in proper working order.
Turn on utility room heaters, if present. This is especially important for condominium units with sprinklers and water pipes on balconies and water heaters in utility rooms on balconies. Set these heaters to a mid-range temperature and check regularly during the winter season to ensure they are properly functioning.
Open cabinets under sinks during cold spells to allow warm air to get to the pipes.
During severe cold spells, allow faucets to drip to ensure water in the lines do not freeze.
NEVER set your thermostat lower than 60 degrees, even if you are away for an extended period. DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR UTILITIES, EVEN IF YOUR HOME IS VACANT. If you turn off your utilities, your pipes are at risk of freezing. The cost to repair this damage is significantly greater than the cost to keep the unit warm while vacant.
Seal off access doors, air vents, windows and cracks to the outside. Pay special attention to electrical outlets on outside walls.
Find the water shut off valve for your property! They may be near each side of the sink or toilet, the water heater, or where the water line comes into your home. If a pipe bursts anywhere in the house this valve turns off the water. Find it now and place a bright hang tag on it. Be sure everyone in the family knows where it is and what it does.
Ensure you have a plan in the event of an extended leave during the winter. Leave a copy of your keys with a neighbor or friend, provide your contact information while away and request they check your home on a regular basis for any signs of leaks.