Winter is rapidly approaching, and while it brings its share of pleasures, winter also has its hazards. These include plummeting temperatures, plenty of snow and ice, and potential damage to your property. Here are a few tips from your friends and furnace installer in Cape Cod to keep your summer home safe and secure, no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.

1. Clean out the Gutters and Check the Roof

Be sure to remove leaves and other debris from the gutters to prevent the formation of ice dams. An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the roof line preventing melting snow from draining properly. The water that backs up because of an ice dam can create a number of costly issues. These include cracks in the ceiling, water-stained walls, and mold in the attic.

Also, check your roof for loose or missing shingles and have them repaired.

Gutter Cleaning Services

2. Have Your Heating System Serviced

Whatever the source of heat in your home, have a professional heating and cooling company in Falmouth, Massachusetts, or your locality, inspect the system. You want it in good running order and operating properly to keep the interior of your vacation home reasonably warm all winter.

3. Protect the Plumbing

As temperatures drop, water pipes can freeze, and frozen, ruptured pipes are a common cause of costly property damage. To prevent potential problems, make sure your water lines are properly insulated. This is especially important for pipes located near outside walls, like those supplying kitchen sinks, showers and washing machines. Also, keep your thermostat set at around 55° to prevent freezing temperatures inside your home.

4. Install a Smart Thermostat

If you don’t already have one, consider installing a programmable thermostat to control the interior temperature of your summer home while you’re away. A smart thermostat also allows you to change the temperature setting of your vacation home from your winter location, no matter where you spend the cold weather months.

5. Remove Window Air Conditioning Units

Window AC units should be removed for the winter. Gaps around the units can allow warm air inside your home to escape, leading to plummeting indoor temperatures.

6. Take Care of Your Appliances

Turn off the water and drain any appliances that hold water . These include the dishwasher, washing machine, hot water heater, and ice maker. Defrost the refrigerator and freezer and prop them open to prevent the growth of mildew and mold. Close the valves of any gas appliances, and unplug all appliances that don’t need to be powered.

7. Clean and Secure the Interior

Be sure to thoroughly clean the interior of your home to prevent mold, mildew, insect, and rodent problems while you’re away. Remove all perishable foods and any boxed foods that animals or insects could eat. Remember to move all electronic equipment and devices away from the windows, so anyone looking in can’t see them. Make sure all windows are locked and any sliding doors are secured with a metal bar.

8. Secure the Exterior

Outdoor work includes cleaning up the yard and trimming the bushes to make it harder for intruders to hide. Be sure to lock up all outdoor furniture in your garage or tool shed. Check around windows, doors and pipe openings, and caulk any openings that could allow cold air, water, rodents or bugs to enter the house.

9. Consider Leaving a Key with a Trusted Neighbor

If you know a year-round resident you can trust, leave them a key so they can check your property periodically. They can check for problems and let you know immediately if they spot any.

Much More than Fuel Delivery in Cape Cod

At The Fuel Company, we hope you’ll find these tips for winterizing your New England summer home helpful. We also hope you’ll remember that we do much more than automatic delivery of home heating oil and diesel fuel. We offer a complete range of HVAC system services, including installation and repair of ductless heating and cooling systems.

We also provide plumbing and water filtration services. Our technicians are highly trained and skilled in all areas of home service and comfort. We want your home to be energy efficient the year around, and our work is always guaranteed.

We know there are many local HVAC companies to choose from, but none with more knowledge and experience than The Fuel Company. We invite you to contact us today.