Brace yourselves. Light overnight freezes are coming to Tucson.
Winterizing an Arizona home is somewhat different than what Ned Stark probably did in Winterfell, but it's still important to run through a few general maintenance items before temperatures cool down.
Winter Pool Upkeep
If you maintain your own pool, winter gives you a nice break from the weekly maintenance pools need when it's hot out. Most pool services recommend checking chemicals bi-weekly in the winter, instead of weekly. To "winterize" your Arizona pool, take the following steps:
- With cooler temperatures, you can adjust your pool pump to run less frequently. We run ours around 8 hours a day during the summer and shift it down to about 4 in the winter. How long you should run your pump depends on the size of your pool and other factors; check with a pool expert.
- Balance your chemicals. Chlorine works best in balanced water, so take a tube to a pool supply store and ask them to test it and recommend appropriate chemicals.
- Brush and vacuum. Give your pool a good scrub and vacuum to remove debris that might otherwise hang out in your pool all winter.
- Backwash and clean your filters to prevent clogging.
- Consider shocking your pool to prevent algae growth in Arizona's winter months.
- Get a pool cover if you don't plan to use it during the winter. Make sure all gates, doors and alarm systems are in working order because pool covers can present drowning hazards to children and animals.
Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
Most ceiling fans have a switch that will cause the blades to spin clockwise, pushing warm air toward the ground.
Protect your house from winter rains by checking out your roof's condition. A free roof inspection will check for slipped and cracked tiles, areas that need to be re-coated, etc. They can also take a look at your chimney and make sure it's clear of debris, and that barriers to keep critters out are in good shape.
Most Tucson roofers provide free inspections and bids for repair work, so you have nothing to lose. We recommend RoofTeks in Tucson to many of our buyer clients.
Clean and Vacuum HVAC Ducts
Make sure your HVAC ducts are clear of debris for maximum energy efficiency. This is a good time to have an HVAC technician out to service your system if you didn't do it before summer began.
Seal Doors and Windows
Check the caulking around your windows and touch up as necessary. Weather strips are a great idea for exterior doors if you can see daylight peeking under them.
Remember to bring potted plants out of the cold on freezing nights.
Use sheets or blankets to cover plants that must remain outside; be sure to drape the covering all the way to the ground to trap the heat from the earth under the blanket.
Never use plastic to cover plants; condensation can form and then freeze, causing damage to your beautiful Arizona plants.