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How to protect your home from cold weather

5 Ways to Protect Your Home from Cold Weather

Sure, you're all bundled up ... but is your house ready to weather these frigid temperatures?

To prevent your pipes from freezing, keep a fan or furnace running near exposed pipes. If your main waterline pipe is behind a wall, leave your water running slightly. Turn on the faucet in your kitchen sink and let it drip a little bit, because that sink is likely next to a window and an outside wall. While you're at it, open the cabinets beneath the sink to let in the warm, heated air of your home.

Don't forget to go outside and make sure your hose is disconnected from your outside faucet. It'll be unpleasant, but it's be worth it. A plumber that FOX59 spoke with said that many people forget this part of home maintenance, and it can cause a huge mess later. A flooded basement could do $10,000-$75,000 worth of damage when all is said and done.

He also noted that many people are complaining of leaking pipes coming from a water heater, which happens when cold water comes into your home and makes pipes expand and contract.

Oh, and don't forget about your car! It's unsafe to let your gas tank dip below a quarter of a tank.

Though the video (and professionals) don't make any mention of hot chocolate, we heartily endorse getting yourself a nice, steaming cup after all that work.

Have any other tried-and-true cold weather tips? Share 'em with us in the comments!

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iowahugs2u February 13 2014 at 1:57 PM

I find the article very helpful.....for NEXT WINTER. We set a record 2 nights in a row at -20 degrees F TWO WEEKS AGO. And almost as cold most nights in January. I find far too many of your "news" articles late.

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jmenuis February 13 2014 at 1:55 PM

The removal of a hose from an outside faucet is good advice that I learned the hard way having left a hose connected to my back side outside faucet. The hose filled from a slow drip from the faucet and froze back into the inside pipe and burst. No problem until the ice melted and whoosh, water all over the place. I then installed a frostproof faucet and put in an inside shutoff. Now I shut off the inside valve, disconnect the outside hose and drain the faucet. No problem since and it was -20 here for a time.

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Jim February 13 2014 at 1:42 PM

To prevent frozen anything, move to the tropics! :)

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mjfrancois February 13 2014 at 1:08 PM

Just dripping your faucets isn't going to do it. You have to stream it. I have had dripping faucets on for over a month because it's been so cold, but now have been without water for 4 days. In Chicago, no one knows how long it will take to restore your water service. So at 66 I am trying to haul water in while patiently waiting for the city to handle its many request for service (although the information number can't even tell you how many requests there are and where you may be in line for a response).

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1 reply to mjfrancois's comment
trshtp1129 February 13 2014 at 9:07 PM

What do you mean, "you have to stream it"? I never heard of this, and you haven't explained what it is. I have opened kitchen sink lower cabinet all day, and let sink "drip" all day and night. Have had no problems, but apparently I could have becaue I didn't "stream it". Don't know what that is, but I'm curious!

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sdestiny.lopez February 13 2014 at 12:48 PM

Too late! haha But will be helpful for next year I guess :)

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tauzero0 February 13 2014 at 12:59 PM

My thoughts exactly, but it's AOL after all.

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Scifly1 February 13 2014 at 12:38 PM

When I know freezing weather is coming, I put off doing the laundry until the temperature hits freezing. Then I stagger doing laundry throughout the night. Yes, it means that I have to wake up every few hours, but I am retired and can handle it. In Texas, so far, the freezes only last a few days. For me, this beats wasting water by letting the faucets drip. I haven't had a frozen pipe since 1986.

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trshtp1129 February 13 2014 at 9:12 PM

I haven't had any problems either, but have let spigots drip through all the freezing nights and days; however, I avoid using HOT water during these times, as I have it in my head it could expand the pipe with the heat, and then with the extreme difference of freezing cold after hot water is turned off -- maybe this could cause a break... not because of ice, but because of expansion and contracting in pipes during freezing weather.

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Carol February 13 2014 at 12:35 PM

This message is a little late in the season don't you think?

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tauzero0 February 13 2014 at 12:59 PM

AOL, need I say more?

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Scott February 13 2014 at 12:21 PM

Dripping, Good idea..unless your on a crawl space and now the slow moving water freezes in your sewer line until you have 4" solid ice sewer line backing up your toliet into the shower ect....

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jeffwalsh February 13 2014 at 12:19 PM

I don't get the "disconnect your hose from the outside faucet" advice in the sense that I would say that is not the key issue there. I don't think it is disconnecting the hose as much as it is turning OFF the line from the inside and then opening the faucet on the outside. That way there water near the end of the pipe doesnt burst the pipe with the line being fed without you knowing until you find the leaking water all over. If the faucet breaks right at or just inside the wall, THAT is where you are going to have a major issue if the water is not off and either immediately or eventually starts flowing again. While the hose being connected might also potentially break the faucet, that wont flood your basement during the winter if you have the line to the faucet turned off. In that part of this, you will want to check your basement when you use that line again in the spring to see that it is not leaking into the basement, which might have happened from water left inside that expanded and broke the faucet or pipe near the outside.

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2 replies to jeffwalsh's comment
larry17682 February 13 2014 at 12:27 PM

Some folks can't shut off their outside water line without shutting off ALL incoming water.
So the advice is good for quite a few homeowners.

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jmenuis February 13 2014 at 2:00 PM

Believe it or not some houses have no inside shutoff valves for outside faucets. Mine didn't until I installed one myself. If you have a hose connected and it fills with water and freezes ice will form ahead of the hose right into the inside of your house and will burst a pipe. I know this because it happened to me.

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richard February 13 2014 at 12:19 PM

This advice of how to stop pipes from freezing is a day late and a dollar short.
This is because winter started on 12/20/13 and not on 2/13/14 OK?
The article wasn't bad, but you missed the opportunity to warn about use of gas generators int
in the house is a possible SAFETY HAZARD.

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