Freezing pipes are unsightly, costly problems that can be avoided by taking a few proactive steps to minimize the risk of them occurring. By familiarizing yourself with natural hazards to the pipes in your home and taking simple measures to reduce their vulnerability, you can help protect against damage caused by freezing temperatures.
1. Leave the Heat On
During the winter, temperatures can get so low that pipes may freeze. Leaving your furnace or central air conditioner running continuously can cause your pipes to freeze more quickly. Close all shutters on your windows and leave the thermostat at the lowest temperature setting. When there is no heat in the house, the thermostat follows the temperature of your whole home. That means that at night and when you’re away, the thermostat is set to 65 degrees. If you live in a building or vacation home with no furnace, this is a problem because there is no heat source to maintain indoor temperatures in these places.
2. Insulate Your Plumbing
Insulation is one of the best methods for preventing pipes from freezing. The insulation inside your walls is usually enough, so you can use caulk, foam, or heat tape. Insulation in the walls will prevent heat from escaping through them and into the cold air outside. Freezing pipes are unsightly, costly problems that can be avoided by taking a few proactive steps to minimize the risk of them occurring.
3. Seal Cracks
Cracks in pipes allow cold air to enter and cause pipes to freeze more quickly. You should seal off any cracks you see around faucets, toilets sinks, or anywhere else that cold air can get through. When you are in the market for a new furnace, make sure that it has been packed in dry ice and that it has been checked to ensure that there are no cracks in it. Any crack will allow water to seep inside the unit. If a large amount of water is trapped under the cover when you shut off the furnace, this may cause problems.
4. Install Smart Technology
Installing innovative technology to monitor your home’s temperature can help you spot rising temperatures and prevent pipes from freezing. You can install a smart thermostat, a programmable device that can be monitored on your smartphone. When temperatures rise too high, the thermostat will shut off power to certain systems in your home, including the central air. You could also install sensors that alert you when temperatures are above or below certain levels.
5. Disconnect Hoses and Protect Outside Spigots
Outdoor pipes are susceptible to freezing, especially if connected to your outside faucet. Disconnecting hoses, covering or removing spigots, and covering the faucet can help prevent pipes from freezing. You should also disconnect any sprinkler systems you have before winter arrives because sprinklers can also cause pipes to freeze when they are on.
You may also want to call a plumbing service if you need help applying these methods. The professionals will be able to help you identify exactly which pipes are susceptible for your home. Freezing pipes cause lots of damage, so by taking the proactive measures outlined above, you can avoid this costly problem.