Winter is right around the corner. With winter, comes colder and colder temperatures. Unfortunately, the cold can wreak havoc on your home. Before the onset of cold weather, prepare your home by following these recommendations:
Electrical and HVAC System Cold Weather Preparation
- Reverse your ceiling fans to clockwise to help move the heat around.
- Check and change the batteries in your CO and smoke detectors.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
- If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
Plumbing Cold Weather Preparation
- Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following the manufacturer’s or installer’s directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
- Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the external valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
- Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
- Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a “pipe sleeve” or installing UL-listed “heat tape,” “heat cable,” or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspapers can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
- When the weather is freezing outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing.
Sometimes Things Happen
Unfortunately, even if you follow the previously mentioned preparation steps to the letter, pipes can still end up freezing and homes can still end up damaged when it gets cold. But don’t fret! Even if you do experience cold weather-related home damage, you can always contact the professionals here at Brothers Plumbing Heating Electric for fast and reliable assistance!