Waukesha County Home

December, 2021

Homes Plus

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By Eileen Mozinski Schmidt Special to Waukesha County Home The holidays are a time of travel and hosting, with much attention paid to food and decor. But some unseen, yet essential, compo- nents to a home's functioning are also key to festive gatherings — plumbing, heating, electrical systems and more. How should homeowners best prepare mechanical systems for hosting guests, traveling and the winter holidays over- all? One of the tasks that many homeown- ers forget is disconnecting garden hoses before the first frost, according to Jon Debelak, owner of Jon Debelak Plumb- ing & Heating Inc. in Sussex. The business serves customers throughout southeastern Wisconsin, including all of Waukesha County. Homeowners who have left hoses con- nected may not realize they have a prob- lem until spring, when basements can flood as a result of buildup in frozen pipes, according to Debelak. Although southeast Wisconsin has passed the date of the first freeze, home- owners who have not yet removed their hoses from the bibs, or outdoor taps, should still do so, according to Debelak. "They should always still remove them," he said, adding that there is a chance damage was avoided. For those planning to leave home for more than a few days, homeowners may want to turn off the water supply at the main valve or on the pressure tank for well water, according to Debelak. He added that water softeners that pro- gram to regenerate instead of doing so only when water is used can be either unplugged or put on bypass mode to avoid problems with backups. And in order to avoid freezing pipes when on the road, Debelak said home- owners should not leave the temperature too low back at home. "When I leave I don't ever turn the heat down to 50 or 40 degrees," he said, adding that an 8- to 10-degree decrease is more than enough for an extended leave. Debelak added that pet owners might want to keep temperatures a little warmer. For his own cat, Debelak said he does not turn the temperature lower than C O N T E N T S Poinsettias aren't just for Christmas What to consider when it comes to kitchens What you need to know about room air cleaners A publication of the Waukesha Freeman and Oconomowoc Enterprise • December 2021 Keeping homes happy for the holidays See MECHANICALS/Page 2 Area experts advise on maintaining mechanical systems before festivities Eileen Schmidt/Special to Waukesha County Home Homeowners should plan to clean and tune furnaces on an annual basis to keep the system running well through the win- ter months, according to Jim Kelly, owner of Kelly HVAC LLC in Waukesha. With newer units, within five years old, biannual tuneups are sufficient, according to Kelly.

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