Is your home buttoned-up for winter?

Brrr. Chilly weather has set in, and it's time to button up—yourself and your home!

Before the snow flies, there are several things manufactured-home owners can do to be sure their homes are safe, warm and ready for the cold.

Manufactured home with snow on groundOutside

  • Inspect the roof to see if any repairs are needed; coat with elastomeric if roof is made of metal.
  • Inspect the "roof jack" (chimney) for damage and clear of any debris.
  • Test the heat tape; it should be wrapped around all exposed water lines. Moving the on/off switch to the inside of the home is a useful and handy idea, too.
  • Inspect the "rodent barrier" under the home for damage, and repair if needed. Rodent tunnels provide direct paths into the home for cold air.
  • Inspect the home's skirting and repair as necessary. Holes in the skirting act as a cold wind tunnel under your home.Think about what your access point will be if you need to get under the home through the snow.Change the oil tank filter, which will help prevent fuel line freeze-ups.
  • Repair interior storm windows.
  • Last but not least, take the snow shovel and roof rake out of the shed. If you don’t have a roof rake, get one!

Inside

  • Have a CTE (Clean, Tune, and Efficiency test) done on the furnace. You can save up to 20% on your heating bill with an efficiently running furnace.
  • Install interior storms, matching them to their respective windows. Window frames get out of square and become particular to their storm window. Number them so it's easier to match them next spring.
  • Use a small mirror and flashlight to inspect the heat registers for sufficient air flow and for drafts around the edges. If ductwork is blocked or disconnected, use caulk to seal it.

Safety

  • Test and the carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, and replace the batteries as needed. There should be one of each near the furnace, gas hot water heater and gas stove.
  • Preventing mold damage by closing the home up slowly to dry out the inside, as the home has been open to moisture all summer.

If nothing else, remember two things:

  • Don’t overload the electrical outlets with space heaters and Christmas decorations. Be sure to look at your wiring diagram and match the amperage load to the circuit breaker.
  • If the furnace won’t run, DON’T keep hitting the restart button—the combustion chamber fills with oil and explosions result!

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