Albuquerque Homes and Lifestyle Blog


Winterizing Your Albuquerque or Rio Rancho NM Home.

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Should I Winterize My Albuquerque Home?

Winterizing your Albuquerque or Rio Rancho home is a very good idea if your planning on being gone for even a few weeks or months. Winterizing your home helps you to save on utility bills during that period and protect your property. Here are a few ideas to help you winterize your home here in Albuquerque or Rio Rancho NM

Ask yourself how long you plan on being gone? It may not be a good idea to leave a home totally vacant for long periods and your insurance company may frown on the idea should they be made aware. You may want to consider having a friend or family member delegated to periodically go intoFaucet Running Water your home say once a month to run water through the drains, flush toilets, and check any other items like doors and windows that you may want them to check on while in the home. Some suggest turning the water off completely in the even of a leak due to frozen pipes.

Many homes in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho utilize evaporative coolers, it is imperative these systems are completely shut down, the water turned off and the feeder water line drained. Every year homes are heavily damaged due to negligence by the home owner not taking the necessary precautions.   Most landscapes in Albuquerque have an outdoor irrigation system, during the winter months these systems should have some type of insulated cover placed over their anti-siphon valve or drained all together. It would also be a good idea to change your sprinkler system timer to the appropriate winter settings or off.

ThermostatProfessionals recommend setting your thermostat to 50-55 degrees in the heat mode. This will save a lot of energy yet prevent pipes from freezing, you may want to consider opening cabinet doors beneath sinks to allow the flow of warmer air.  While doing this it would be a great time to check your smoke alarms and replace the batteries, you wont be around to hear them chirping as they go bad.

Another consideration for Winterizing your Rio Rancho or Albuquerque home is regarding gas appliances that utilize a pilot light like a gas fireplace, gas stove etc. you may want to turn those pilots off or completely turn off the gas to those appliances.  The exception to this would be the hot water Gas Flameheater, it is not recommended you turn these off.  You don't want the water in the heater to freeze, the best thing to do is put it on the vacation setting.  This way the pilot stays lit, the water wont freeze and when you do have someone come in to flush toilets and run water you have that warm water in the tank. If you do have someone coming in on occasion have them turn off one light and leave another on so it appears there is activity in the home.

These are all simple steps to consider when winterizing your Albuquerque New Mexico home. If in doubt contact your local utility provider or a professional home inspector.

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Comment balloon 18 commentsJohn McCormack, CRS • November 15 2011 12:05AM


Never thought you would need to winterize in this area. In MN it is almost a must now this time of year.

Posted by Chuck Carstensen, Minnesota Real Estate Expert (RE/MAX Results) over 8 years ago

Funny oyu dont think of NM that way but I know people who live out there and was shocked on visiting seeing that you also have ski areas??? Whodathunkit?

Great tips for any region!

Posted by David Shamansky, Creative, Aggressive & 560 FICO - OK, Colorado Mtg (US Mortgages - David Shamansky) over 8 years ago

John, I never thought to open the cabinet doors below sinks to allow the flow of warmer air... great tip!

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate (Vision Quest Realty) over 8 years ago

Now is the time to start the winterizing process...good tips for your New Mexico residents John.

Posted by Anita Clark, Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA (Coldwell Banker Access Realty ~ 478.960.8055) over 8 years ago

John, Every climate has its precautions and steips to take to ensure safety and care for our homes.

Posted by Ron Marshall, Birdhouse Builder Extraordinaire (Marshall Enterprises) over 8 years ago

John - ahh the memories of growing up in a colder climate!  I remember the days, the lessons, and the lessons learned.  Best of luck!

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) over 8 years ago

Good information for your local folks, John. I wouldn't think of winterizing in New Mexico except I remember driving through there one January on my way to California many years ago. We woke up to find snow all over our car and were so shocked!

Posted by Toni Weidman, 20+ Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL (Sailwinds Realty) over 8 years ago

I didn't realize that you needed to winterize your home in New Mexico.  Godd stuff John!  

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) over 8 years ago

Hi John, As others have said above, wouldn't have thought winterizing in Albuquerque would be necessary, but great reminder of easy steps to take!

Posted by Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Home and Condo Specialists (The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803) over 8 years ago

Great information John and living in the Northeast we definitely need to prepare for winter. I've bookmarked for future reference!

Posted by Kristine Ginsberg, NJ Home Stager (Elite Staging and Redesign, LLC) over 8 years ago

Good morning John. Great post filled with wonderful information we can all use. This is very well written and nicely presented. Have a productive day my friend.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) over 8 years ago

Hey John.  Very good advice in adverse weather.  We have two people on our block who leave at the first flake for Arizona and dont come back until the snow is over in Colorado.  Thats about 6 months a year that their home is sitting vacant.

Posted by Belinda Spillman, Colorado Living! (Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado) over 8 years ago

Hi Chuck, Yep we do get cold enough to cause some problems for sure.  I have seen a frozen evap cooler destroy a home to the tune of $50K to fix the damage.  Its not MN cold by any stretch but frozen is frozen.

Dave,  Indeed and we have really nice ski areas.  Taos, Santa Fe, Angel Fire etc.. even one in our back yard Sandia.

Hi Rebecca,  Anything helps...keep that air circulating!  Especially on outside walls.

Good Morning Anita,  These cold nights can sneak up on us.  Being prepared is 99% of the battle.

Ron,  Indeed and not does not necessarily fit all.

Hi Jan,  Are you rubbing it in? :>)  I realize its a non issue in Scottsdale...A tad jealous..LOL

Hi Toni,  I think it is a misconception for sure.  I have seen some heavy snow here in ABQ it just not last long.  Now northern New Mexico can get several feet of snow in one pass. Thus the great ski areas. We needs snow badly this year, the entire state is still in a drought.

Jared,  Yes Sir, especially if it is going to be vacant.

Hi L&S,  I wish I had some photos to share of frozen coolers, hose bibs etc.  Funny how folks don't realize it actually get cold here.  Keep in mind Albuquerque is the other MILE HIGH city.  That's a lot of altitude and it gets cold up here.

Hello Kristine,  I am sure being in the NE is quite different and many more steps should be taken to assure no property damage happens.  Yall have some long winters..

Hi Sheila,  Glad you found it of interest and useful.  Stay warm, winter is a coming!


Posted by John McCormack, CRS, Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me! (Albuquerque Homes Realty) over 8 years ago

Q-man - great advice. I'd like to add another tip, leave a key with a neighbor. ( or the phone # of someone who has a key)

We had a hard freeze a few years ago, and a couple of our homes with ceiling fire sprinklers experienced a leak. One house needed completely new carpets - it was a mess. Once we realized that several homes at the problem, we called and warned everyone to keep doors to rooms open for heating - the leaks happened in a few rooms where the owners had closed off the doors to conserve on heating costs.

At any rate, one homeowner was gone and we couldn't get into the house for him to check for any problems, fortunately, due to a south facing lot, he escaped an issue. I now have his key - just in case.

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) over 8 years ago

Q: We even need to winterize our homes in Riverside, Texas. It doesn't freeze often, but all it takes is ONCE! Ouch!

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (101 Main St. Realty) over 8 years ago

Hi John.

Those are great tips...One must prepare for the winter months...

Posted by Joshua Zargari, MJ Decorators Workshop (MJ Decorators Workshop LI staging and home decorating) over 8 years ago

Hi Debb,  Great advise!  Someone needs to have a key, there are just too many things that can go wrong where access is crucial.  Good addition for sure and thank you!

Hey Joni, You got it, it only takes one time and it could be quite expensive and one unhappy insurance company.

Joshua, Its easy to overlook these thing, we must use our little noggin.


Posted by John McCormack, CRS, Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me! (Albuquerque Homes Realty) over 8 years ago

When buying a foreclosure or short sale, the buyer and the buyer's agent need to know that banks sometimes winterize homes after the pipes froze. Always inspect the plumbing even if the house was winterized.

Posted by Dave Halpern, Louisville Short Sale Expert (Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827) about 2 years ago