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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!

Join the discussion

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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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trshtp1129 mjfrancois 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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DARLENE February 13 2014 at 9:58 AM

All this advise is good, but about 4 months late.

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cdub340 DARLENE February 13 2014 at 11:31 AM

to does for spring

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Butch Ellis February 13 2014 at 9:55 AM

Another tip for keeping the water pipes from freezing besides disconnecting hoses from outside spigots, pouring vineagar down drains, allowing the interior faucets running at a trickle is to use a small lamp with the old style incadescent bulb and placing it near water pipes or inside cabinets near the water pipes and drains.

I have used a small lamp to keep our unheated well house warm during freezing temps for years. Be cautious if using halogen lights as the halogen lamps create a tremendous amount of heat and can be a fire hazard in addition to cranking up the electric bill.

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richyalf February 13 2014 at 9:47 AM

I remember going out of town for a wedding and finding out that when my mother picked me up, she turned of the water in my kitchen sink. When I found out what she did, I had a friend go to my home and turn the tap on so that there was a trickle of water. The wind chill was 60 below but the pipes never froze because of this trickle.

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danielorevae February 13 2014 at 9:32 AM

After you disconnect the faucets outside from the hose, put a winter faucet cover over the faucets.

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Pearl February 13 2014 at 9:31 AM


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Schmidt Family February 13 2014 at 9:16 AM

For RV owners; winterize your fresh water system to include the water heater. There are anti-freeze solutions made for RV's also adapters for blowing out water systems with compressed air (low pressure) to ensure they are dry. For pool owners (in ground); if your pump does not have a 'freeze' setting be sure to run your pump 24/7 to eliminate any chance of frozen pipes. Some of the newer energy saving pumps have this feature (freeze protection) already programmed and run at low speds to keep the power bills down.

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rayfridjr February 13 2014 at 9:09 AM

For pipes that freeze, go to a hardware store and purchase electric heater tapes. These will wrap around the pipe and plug in to an extension cord, and will heat the pipe when the temperature drops to freezing and below.

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springfieldranch February 13 2014 at 9:07 AM

Have Your Say...It was so cold this winter that some drains also froze. I discovered that plain old vinegar worked great to free these up. Now I pour a cup or so of vinegar in the drain before the cold.

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rb springfieldranch February 13 2014 at 9:19 AM

Probably smells like Italian salad dressing the whole winter

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stvhndyman January 24 2014 at 5:45 AM

If you turn off the water supply to outside faucets be sure to turn on the faucets to allow any remaining water to drip out or allow the water room to expand when it freezes. The pipes burst because there is no room for the water to expand.

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