How to Keep Your Pipes From Freezing (And Save Money) This Winter
The average U.S. household mortgage debt equates to $189,586. So if you’re like most American homeowners, you’ll want to do everything possible to save money whenever you can. Unfortunately, surprising expenditures tend to pop up during the colder months. If you fail to properly prepare, you could be saddled with some unexpected costs.
That’s often the case when it comes to plumbing. In 2018 alone, the U.S. plumbing industry brought in more than $107 billion in revenue. While you might not always be able to avoid calling a plumber, you might be able to mitigate a potential disaster by preventing frozen and burst pipes this winter.
If you’re successful, you’ll do more than just reduce stress. You may be able to avoid expensive plumbing repairs, water damage repair, and other losses. When pipes freeze or burst, your home may become uninhabitable for a time. Since the average daily rate for a hotel came to $120.01 in 2015 — and most of us would like to avoid staying in a hotel during a pandemic — it makes sense to be proactive about your plumbing.
So how exactly can you keep your pipes from freezing this winter (and save money at the same time)? The following tips can save you a whole lot of trouble and can help you avoid contacting an emergency plumber.
Insulate Your Pipes
One of the easiest and most effective things you can do to prevent frozen pipes is to insulate them. Of course, you can add insulation to draftier areas that also contain plumbing systems, like attics, crawl spaces, and basements. But you can also insulate the pipes themselves with heat tape or foam pipe insulators. These materials should be relatively easy to find and use yourself. Simply place them over any exposed pipes to give them extra protection from the cold.
Keep Your Thermostat Consistent
A consistent thermostat setting can keep pipes from freezing overnight. Although keeping the thermostat a bit lower during the evening might help you save some money, it’s important not to go overboard. If you know outdoor temperatures are predicted to drop overnight, don’t lower your thermostat. It’s better to maintain your home’s temperature throughout the day and night to prevent frozen pipes, as whatever you might save by reducing your thermostat will be far less than the potential damage of an emergency plumbing fix.
Open or Close Doors As Needed
You may need to close or open certain doors in order to keep heat in or to circulate warm air, depending on the circumstances. If you have plumbing in your garage, for example, you’ll want to keep your garage door closed. But if you have plumbing underneath cabinets in your home, you’ll probably want to keep the cabinet doors open at night to prevent frozen pipes. Just make sure to remove any dangerous chemicals or cleaning products from under the sink if you have small children in your home.
Allow a Drippy Faucet
You might not relish the thought of wasting water (especially if you’re already concerned about your water bill). But if you know your pipes are prone to freezing or if the temperature is supposed to experience a significant drop overnight, you may want to leave a faucet dripping. A slow trickle of water will keep water moving throughout your pipes, which can prevent freezing. For best results, pick a faucet that’s far away from where your water comes into your home or one that has exposed pipes.
Ultimately, frozen or burst pipes can cost thousands of dollars to fix. If you’re trying to save money this winter and you live in an area prone to frigid temperatures, you’ll want to take steps to keep money in your wallet and water flowing through your pipes.