Dos And Don'ts Of Preparing Your Home Plumbing For Winter
Winter can be rough on a home's plumbing system, especially if the proper precautions aren't taken. Pipes can freeze or burst and other expensive damage could occur if you're not careful. Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do (and avoid doing) that could save you from having to call out your local residential plumber to assist you during an emergency.
DO Keep Your Thermostat Up
Even if you're planning on leaving your home on vacation for a few days, you'll need to keep your thermostat set to a reasonably comfortably temperature. Don't make the mistake of shutting your heat off to save money because you'll end up doing just the opposite when your home gets so cold that your pipes freeze and burst. If you want to save money on your heating bills (especially when you're not home), consider investing in a programmable or smart thermostat that you can set accordingly. You'd be surprised at how much money you can save with one of these simple devices.
DO Insulate Your Pipes
In addition to keeping your home at a comfortable temperature during the coldest months of the year, you may also want to consider having your plumbing pipes professionally insulated. This can be an excellent way to protect them from exposure to cold temperatures, especially when it comes to pipes that are located near home exteriors or even under ground. When shopping for insulation for your plumbing pipes, look for the highest "R-value" rating you can find. The higher the rating, the better your pipes will be insulated.
DON'T Forget to Leave Faucets Dripping
Finally, if you do leave your home for an extended period of time, it's also a good idea to leave all your faucets slightly dripping water. This will help ensure that the water within the pipes remains moving and therefore has less of a chance of freezing. This can make all the difference in the event that your furnace stops working while you're gone. Yes, you'll spend a fraction more on your water bill by leaving your faucets dripping, but you could be saving yourself thousands in plumbing repairs by doing so.
These are just a few things to keep in mind as you prepare your home's plumbing system for the frigid months of winter. Still, it's a good idea to have the name and number of a reliable home plumber on hand (such as one from Eddie B Plumbing), just in case of an emergency.