Fall In The Vineyards

Yes it’s that time – leaves are dropping, as are the temperatures.  Squirrels are active gathering acorns and this is a good time for us to be active before winter arrives.  While you probably already are well on your way to attending to these seasonal chores, here is a quick reminder of things to consider before temperatures drop below freezing:

  • Did you know that when water changes from a liquid to a solid it expands?  When it expands it needs somewhere to go – if a pipe is full of water when it freezes this can cause so much pressure it can split yhe pipe and when it thaws your pipe will leak! This is why it is a good idea to drain water from things that could be subjected to temperatures below 32 degrees.  So if you have an irrigation system it’s time to winterize it by having the water blown out.  Don’t forget your hose reels and hose bibs they should be drained too by shutting off the water to them and opening the valve to let the water drain.
  • Leaves fall and will clog gutters and downspouts if you have them.  Ultimately this can lead to “ice damming” on your roof which can cause water damage inside your house.
  • This is a good time to service your home generator if you have one.  At a minimum change the oil and filter, but it is a good idea to change the air filter too.
  • Change your whole house water filter if you have one.
  • If you have forced air heat change your filters – your heating bill may go down and your sinus’ will thank you.
  • Replace the batteries in your smoke / CO alarms – this is easy to ignore, but you may be very glad you did.
  • Flush out your hot water heater.  Yes, that is right; hot water heaters accumulate sediment that many times reduces the life of the unit.  At the base there is a fitting for a hose to drain it and you should at least once a year!
  • Shorter days mean many walkers will be on the streets in the dark so be careful driving through the neighborhood – please watch your speed.