The frigid temperature of the winter months not only chills you to the bone, but it also increase the chance of frozen pipes in your home. We usually don’t see frozen pipes under normal winter conditions in our area, but when the temperature drops to extreme cold, frozen pipes become more frequent. When the water in the pipes freezes, they will expand, causing the pipes to burst and requiring a costly repair bill. Fortunately, a few simple precautions will help keep your pipes from freezing.
Protect the pipes by wrapping them in foam pipe insulation. The foam insulation keeps warmth around the pipes and is fairly easy to install. Foam insulation is available at various home improvement centers for a relatively inexpensive price.
Another option to help prevent frozen pipes is to allow warm air to circulate around pipes hidden in your home. For example, the pipes under your kitchen sink are kept out of eyesight, and the heat in your home typically does not reach these pipes. By opening the kitchen sink doors, you will allow warm air to reach the pipes and prevent them from freezing. If you have children in home, make sure to remove cleaning products and chemicals from under the sink before leaving the door open.
You can also prevent frozen pipes in the basement by warming the location with a space heater. A space heater will increase the temperature of your basement by several degrees and keep the water pipes from freezing. When using a space heater, never leave it unattended, and always keep flammable and combustible materials such as clothing, paper, paint thinner and cardboard away from the heater.
You can help prevent pipes from bursting by letting water drip from the faucet. Opening the faucet will prevent pressure from building in the pipes, reducing the chance that the pipes will break. Let both the hot and cold faucet drip slightly when the temperature is expected to drop below freezing.
Make sure you shut off the water to all outdoor faucets and hose bibs.
For more information on preventing frozen pipes, or any other home heating and cooling needs, contact T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating, providing the Long Island area with high-quality service since 1934.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Frozen faucet image via Shutterstock.