Vince ClingenpeelVince Clingenpeel is the president and principle inspector of Clingenpeel Properties Inc. His father founded the company in 1954 as a masonry business. He started his career as a bricklayer, then apprenticing again to become a master carpenter and remodeling contractor. He also teaches adult education trade classes in his spare time. Vince uses his knowledge, experience and affiliation with the American Society of Home Inspectors (www.ASHI.org) to provide home inspections as well as construction and maintenance advice to homeowners and do-it-yourselfers in Northern Virginia.
Vince Clingenpeel: I am Vince Clingenpeel. We are showing you how to winterize your home, now we are down here at the furnace and the water heater. This is a forced air furnace, in this case. If you have got a boiler, you are probably going to need a plumber to help you winterize it. You can either put antifreeze in the system or drain it entirely, you are going to need some help. It is very complicated piece unless you have a specialized knowledge.
If you have got an electric heat, your problem is just turn off the switch, simple enough With this furnace, you shut the gas off outside that is one of the first things we did and we cut off the main gas, propane or natural gas. Find the valve inside, shut this valve off as well, the emergency switch may not be always as handy as it is here. In some of the older houses, it s marked with a red switch plate. Do not forget the humidifier if you have one. You got to drain all the water out of it.
It might be a good time talk about the filter, if you are going to shut the system down, you can clean or replace or the very least pull it out and set it aside as a reminder when you come back. Let us talk about water heater. Your fill valve is got to be open. It s a good time to check your TPR valve (temperature relief valve)if that is corroded or leaking, it is a big deal, get it fixed. If you drain the house and you got a faucet down here in the basement, the water heater is the only really siphoned down here, so you got to remember to drain it entirely. You can put a hose, this thread fits a hose, run it to a floor drain outside somewhere. Open your valve, drain your water heater to the very end. This particular one is electric, before you empty it entirely, be sure that you have turned it off. You do not want those heater coils heating air. A gas water heater, you have done the same thing, what you did here with the furnace which is, shut off the valve and make sure that does not call for heat. If you have got a sump, if you have got a sump pump, do not forget that, you are going to have to drain that. Run it if you need to, get all water out of the system. Any items like that have to be taken care of. Now let us go over and talk about the electric system.