Frozen pipes can be a real problem. When pipes are exposed to a cold enough temperature, the water within them can freeze. This means you can’t get water out of your faucets when you need it. But worse, frozen pipes can also burst, resulting in thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home and possessions. Fortunately, with some preparation, this whole mess can be avoided.
Winter can be harsh enough in Chicagoland without the stress of frozen or burst pipes. With cold weather looming, it will be beneficial to know some tips to make sure you don’t have to deal with the cost and cleanup that can result from frozen pipes.
Here are five tips to keep in mind this winter:
Keep your home consistently warm
As much as you might not like the higher cost of the heating bill, keeping your house warm goes a long way toward preventing your pipes from freezing. Maintain your heat at a consistent level, even when you’re sleeping or away from home. Keeping your furnace at a minimum of 55 degrees is usually sufficient to reduce the chances of your pipes freezing. The damage from burst pipes will certainly be more costly than the extra expense of keeping the heat turned up.
Insulate vulnerable areas
Generally, the most common places in a home for pipes to freeze are areas that experience the coldest temperatures with the least protection. Basements and attics, for example, are trouble spots for frozen pipes. By insulating these areas, you decrease the chances that pipes will freeze. Insulating the pipes themselves in these areas is also important to achieve the best results.
Keep your cabinet doors open
This helps to circulate heat to areas that need it. Pipes are often located in cabinets, and during the winter, they may not be getting enough heat. By opening the cabinets in rooms like your kitchen or bathroom, you allow more heat to reach the pipes there. Without this extra warmth, you run a higher risk of these pipes freezing or bursting.
Disconnect outdoor water lines
Water lines that go outdoors to your hose or swimming pool should be disconnected and drained. These lines are especially vulnerable to freezing in the winter, so draining any water from them prevents having to worry about burst pipes.
Allow your faucets to drip
As weird as this might sound, this is an effective way to prevent pipes from freezing. Allowing your indoor faucets to drip just a little bit keeps the water within the pipes moving and decreases the odds of it freezing. This prevents a buildup of ice that can lead the pipes to burst.
If you run into any issues with your pipes this winter, or any other plumbing problems, don’t hesitate to call Stephens Plumbing and Heating at (630) 968-0783 or schedule an appointment online.