Despite all the warnings and chatter that circulates annually as the cold weather approaches, frozen pipes are a reality that plagues many families each winter. Rather than crossing your fingers and hoping you’re one of the lucky ones, consider these actions you can take to prevent it from happening.
Keep The Heat On
If you’re leaving your home for an extended period of time, you may be tempted to turn off your home heating for the sake of savings on your utility bill. However, keeping the heat on will help prevent frozen pipes. Setting your thermostat no lower than 12°C (55°F) will still provide cost savings on your utilities while playing a pivotal role in preventing costly repairs from burst pipes.
Open Interior Doors and Cabinets
Uninsulated pipes running to sinks or appliances can be at risk of freezing, especially if they are near exterior walls. Keeping interior doors open will ensure your home’s heating system will circulate throughout the house. Opening cabinets where uninsulated pipes located will better expose the pipes to heat.
Insulating and Heating Tape
You can take additional precautions by insulating pipes or use heat tape. Depending on where the pipe is located, you can determine which choice is the most appropriate option. For pipes infrequently used areas, applying heat tape directly to the pipes should suffice.
In basements or crawl spaces where your home heating isn’t as noticeable, insulating the pipes should be a priority. Areas like this are more susceptible to frozen pipes and tend to be a nightmare if pipes burst.
What To Do If Your Pipes Freeze
If you do find yourself faced with frozen pipes, it’s important not to panic. There are several steps you can take to avoid a disaster. But first, how do you identify frozen pipes? The most obvious way is to turn on a faucet. If nothing comes out and you hear knocking noises, your pipes are frozen. If this happens you should leave the faucet turned on and call a plumber.
You can identify the location of the frozen pipes when it is covered in frost or there’s an abnormality (such as bulging). Once identified, you should start by turning off the water supply to reduce damage, as there could be a crack in the pipes. You’ll also want to have a mop and towels ready in the case that you discover a crack when you thaw the frozen pipes. You can now begin to defrost the line using a hair dryer, space heater, or heat tape. Remember to begin as close to the open faucet as possible and work your way towards the coldest area of the pipe.
Taking the preventative steps above can save you time and money, if you notice your heating isn’t dispersing throughout your home, don’t hesitate to call the experts at Aire One. With over 25 years experience in the heating and cooling business, they have the expertise to resolve any heating issues and ensure your pipes stay thawed this winter.