Places all of the United States have been suffering from extremely cold temperatures. In the midwest, we are used to dealing with the frigid cold during the winter, but not everyone has the know how on how to protect their homes from the cold. After getting your Omaha furnace inspection and checking out your insulation, what else is there to do during winter?
One of the biggest things you need to think about when the weather gets cold is protecting your pipes. Those of you who have never been homeowners before or maybe haven’t experienced the cold may not know that frozen pipes is something that can happen and something you need to work to prevent. Here are some tips to make sure your pipes stay clear of freezing and bursting.
Keep your heat on
It is recommended that you get an Omaha furnace inspection at the beginning of every winter to ensure that it is working properly. One of the best things you can do to prevent your pipes from freezing is to keep your heat on to a minimum of 55 degrees. If you are not home, you still need to leave your heat on to keep things functioning and working properly. Be sure to check the weather before you leave town to be sure the heat is on and at an appropriate temperature for upcoming weather. If your pipes freeze, they may burst, which can cause a lot of water damage, especially if you aren't home to take care of them.
Leave a drip
Though it might seem like a waste of water, a very effective way of preventing your pipes from freezing is to leave your faucet open just enough that it drips slightly. This will allow for the release of pressure in the system, which will typically keep it from freezing and bursting. If your faucet has both a hot and cold tap, open both slightly or set your single-handle faucet to warm.
Open your cabinets
Most of the time your pipes are hidden in places around your home because they aren’t very pretty to look at, but that also means that they are less likely to get heat to them. If you are experiencing extremely cold temperatures or are worried about your pipes freezing, open the doors to the cabinets that house your pipes. If they are in a storage or furnace room, open up that door to allow the heat from the rest of the home to enter and warm up the pipes.
Be sure that any walls or floors that are near your pipes are free of cracks and holes where cold air could be coming in. If you do have any, seal them with caulk or spray insulation to fill the gaps.
Some homeowners may not even be aware that this exists, but heat tape is a great tool to utilize very quickly if you are able to reach the pipes you are worried about. There are two different types of heating tape you can use, but both are effective.
The first kind will turn on and off by itself when it detects that heat is needed. The second type will need to be plugged in when heat is needed. Either way, these go directly onto the pipe and warm it up. Just like space heaters, these can be dangerous if not used properly. Be sure to read the directions carefully and check on them often.
Whether you love or hate the cold, you don’t want it affecting your home. Be sure that you are taking all of the proper precautions this winter to keep yourself safe and warm and your pipes functional. Contact ServiceOnce today if you have any questions, an Omaha furnace inspection or maintenance help!