A Homeowner’s Guide to Frozen Pipes

Brrrr … “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” isn’t just a holiday song. It’s an everyday reality when winter hits. For homeowners, this time of year can be fraught with danger. Winter can wreak havoc with your home and wallet, from power outages to frozen pipes, but it doesn’t have to ruin your plans or your budget. Sure, you can bundle up in layers to keep warm while lowering your heating costs, but you’ll need more than cozy blankets to make it safely through this season.

One thing homeowners tend to overlook — avoiding frozen pipes in the winter.

Put Faucets on Drip

Wasting water might be a concern any other time of year, but when the temps drop below freezing during the winter, it’s smart to let the faucets drip. The move could keep pipes from freezing in the cold. You might waste water, but you could save yourself a major headache if you keep those pipes from freezing or bursting.

Keep the Temperature Steady

During most seasons, you may adjust your home’s thermostat to different temperatures by day and night to save on your utility bills. It’s smart thinking, but you might have to think a little differently when it comes to winter weather. It turns out that it’s much better to keep your home at a consistent temperature during the winter months. Just keep in mind that you shouldn’t keep the temperature any lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Make Your Pipes Cozy

For people living in extreme winter weather, it’s a good idea to head to your local home improvement store to purchase insulation for your pipes. It may cost a little at the outset, but the investment could save you a bigger expense later on. Pipes in basements and crawl spaces are particularly vulnerable to colder temperatures.

Store Garden Hoses

Instead of leaving garden hoses out year-round, consider putting them away when winter arrives. Storing the items in a garage or shed will keep them from freezing and help them last longer. You can pick up affordable covers for the outside faucet from your local home improvement store.

Use Heat Tape on Pipes

Heat tape or heat cables provide further protection from freezing temperatures. You’ll find these products at your area’s home improvement store. Thermostats control heat cables which keep pipes from freezing and causing problems for homeowners.

Keep Cabinets Open

This tip might seem a little strange, but there are pipes under sinks and in the walls that may not be well-insulated. Keeping the cabinets open can help heat circulate to these hard-to-reach areas of your home. It may not look as neat as you prefer, but if it protects your pipes, it might be worth it to let your kitchen and bathrooms look like a poltergeist visited them.

Stay warm and toasty this winter with a little preparedness. These tips could help lower your heating bill and prevent those pipes from catching a chill. It may be cold outside, but you’ll be warm — and safe — in the comfort of your home.