Dangerously cold weather is expected to hit much of the US this week with many areas expected to get temperatures below zero degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures could get as low as zero degrees in some of our customer areas and even stores in Texas and Louisiana will be looking at mid-teens as lows this week!
So how do you prepare yourself and your house for these extremely cold temperatures? Follow some of the tips below to save $$ on heating costs, protect your pipes, and keep yourself warm!
Protect Pipes from Freezing and Potentially Bursting
A frozen pipe is not only an inconvenience but it can also be a scary and costly problem. Frozen pipes have the potential to burst, cause water damage and much more to your home. Some of the following tips can help prevent frozen pipes and protect your home. If you do have a frozen pipe, call a professional right away to try to unfreeze it before it bursts! Don’t try to unfreeze a pipe yourself; you can increase risk for fires or burst pipes!
- Open cabinets under sinks so warm air from the house can reach your pipes. This is especially important on sinks, showers and toilets that are on an outside wall.
- Disconnect garden hoses from outside faucets and cover them to prevent them from freezing.
- Keep the temperature in your house about 70 degrees. Don’t let it fall during the day even if you are not at home, this increases the risk of pipes freezing inside your house and it takes a longer time for the house to recover.
- Leave a slow drip in your faucets. The constant moving water is more difficult to freeze than standing water. “Roto-Rooter master plumber Chris Byrd said the best way to prevent frozen pipes is to turn on your water. If you’re worried about the water bill, he said once you get the repair bill, you’ll regret worrying about the water.” – Fox News Alabama
- In draftier areas and pipes near the outside, consider insulting them with a pipe wrap or heating cable. This will help keep the pipe warm and prevent freezing.
Keep Heat In
To help keep yourself warm and saving energy costs, there are some easy tips to keep your home insulated. Of course, on top of that list is replacing your doors and windows with energy efficient ones. Unfortunately that is not a possibility for most people, so take a look at the tips below to help cut some costs and keep warm with the doors and windows you have! Many of these tips courtesy of ABC News and Energy.gov.
- Weatherstrip or caulk your doors and windows and be sure existing weatherstrips are efficient. Replace any weatherstrips that are deteriorating or falling off. This will help minimize cold air sneaking into your house.
- Insulate water heaters and ducts so that the heat isn’t lost before it gets where its going.
- Cover drafty windows to prevent heat loss. Products such as Shrink and Seal Window Kit will help keep the cold air outside and your heat inside. Insulating drapes or blinds can also help keep the heat in!
- Seal leaks. Many places in the house can cause potential heat loss (consider a Home Energy Audit to find leaks in your home). Holes around pipes, chimneys, recessed lighting, unfinished spaces, cables entering through walls and ceilings are all potential places for heat to escape. Seal these spots with an easy foam insulator such as Dow Great Stuff.
- Keep your fireplace damper closed if not burning a fire. If you never use your fireplace, seal the chimney flue. Make sure the seal on the flue damper is snug.
Heat Just the Rooms You are In
Consider closing vents in rooms you don’t use. This will help keep the rooms you are in warmer and cut down on energy costs. Also consider a space heater. Many are energy efficient and can heat an entire room more efficiently than your furnace. A space heater can also be a great idea in a cold bathroom with outdoor walls to help prevent freezing pipes!