Colder temperatures have finally hit Ohio, so it’s important to be sure you prepare your home for winter. This season can be especially hard on your plumbing and on your furnace.
Heating systems will be working harder during these freezing temperatures and subzero wind chills. Furnaces may not shut off as often as they normally do during an automatic cycle. When temperatures dip below zero, heating systems have to work that much harder to bring homes up to temperature.
Your plumbing has to work extra-hard during winter weather, too. If the water in your pipes freezes, you could end up with burst pipes that will make themselves evident as soon as temperatures warm again.
Cold-weather preparation typically should start when the first hard frost occurs.
Here are some tips for keeping your home safe and preventing damage to your plumbing during winter:
- Where’s your shutoff? Locate your main water shutoff valve and make sure it operates properly. In an emergency situation when you have water leaking, being able to shut the water off will reduce the damage that could occur while you are waiting for a plumber to repair the leak.
- Mind the gaps. Before it becomes too cold, inspect your home for potential exposure to outside air. If you have a basement or crawl space that isn’t heated, cold wind can blow in through cracks around windows or walls. Look for light shining through those areas, and insulate them with spray foam or fiberglass to keep the air out.
- Check your outside faucets. Disconnect any hoses that are attached to outside faucets before the first overnight freeze.
- How do I keep my pipes from freezing? On days (and nights) when temperatures are predicted to be below zero, heat your home warmer than you typically do. This will help your plumbing combat the outside temperature. For sinks that are on exterior walls of your home, open cabinet doors to allow ambient heat to reach the water and drain lines underneath.
- Leave your furnace on. When going out of town for an extended period during winter, don’t turn your furnace off! That is inviting disaster in the form of frozen pipes. If you’re concerned about energy bills, lower the temperature 5-10 degrees, but leave the heat on.
- Don’t leave your house completely unattended. If you are going to be away from your house for more than a day during extremely cold weather, make arrangements for a family member or trusted friend to stop in and check the home. This person can confirm that the heating system is working and the plumbing is okay.
A little prevention can go a long way toward avoiding costly damage to your home during the winter months. Gain more in-depth knowledge on how to combat cold weather by checking out the other cold weather tips on the Korrect blog.