It doesn’t quite have the right ring to it, but it’s true! As the weather gets colder, your pipes are in danger of freezing and bursting, especially in Oklahoma, where homes are often not constructed with cold weather in mind. Pipes rupture and the resulting water damage can cost a homeowner between $500-$15,000, depending on the severity of the damage! In addition, insurance coverage can vary depending on who you are insured by.
At Norman Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, we know it’s always better to prevent damage than deal with repairing a broken pipe during the holiday season! Here are a few DIY tips to protect your home from damage this winter and keep your pipes from freezing.
1. Adjust Thermostat Settings For Winter Travel
If you leave on vacation, set your thermostat to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, but NO LOWER, especially if you have a newer furnace. Setting newer models below 60 degrees can reduce the lifespan of your unit.
A 60-degree set temperature will reduce your utility bill while adequately protecting your pipes during winter temperatures. If you are concerned that there will be a cold snap during your absence that your home’s insulation cannot keep up with, open cabinet doors on exterior walls before you leave to allow heat to reach those pipes.
2. Insulate Exterior Wall Pipes And Faucets
Shut off all exterior faucets, disconnect the hoses and insulate any pipes and faucets along the exterior walls of your home. Insulating foam sheaths and hose bib covers are available to purchase at any hardware store!
Make sure to insulate the entire length of pipe — from the point where your home’s main water line emerges from the ground to the point where it enters the heated space of your home. You should also insulate any pipes that are outside the heated portion of your home, like those in attics, unheated crawl spaces and outdoor hose bibs.
If pipe insulation is not a DIY job for your home, call our licensed plumbers to get the job done right.
3. Locate Emergency Shut-off Valve
Know where your home’s water shut-off valves are located in case of an emergency. They may be located outside, by the water meter, or inside your home.
One of our Norman plumbing experts can also install an emergency shut-off valve in your house, so you don’t have to go searching for the main shut-off outside during one of Oklahoma’s infamous ice storms.
4. Clean Your Home’s Gutters
Clean out your gutters and downspouts to keep moisture away from your house. As moisture freezes, it expands and can begin to crack the foundation and any masonry around your home, causing water to seep into your home and result in additional damage.
5. Schedule Winter Water Heater Maintenance
Make sure your water heater is running properly in the winter when warm water is most appreciated. It is a good idea to get the tank serviced and flushed by a professional plumbing company annually to maintain the efficiency of your water heater.
Regular water heater maintenance will prevent premature corrosion, catch problems early and increase the longevity of your system! Get an expert to perform routine maintenance on your water heater and prevent a leak when you need that hot water the most.
Norman’s Winter Plumbing Experts
Norman, Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is here to take care of your plumbing needs! No job is too large or too small, so just give us a call or schedule an appointment online! Our experts will solve your problem in no time.
You can also join the Comfort Club, which includes biannual HVAC maintenance, discounts on repairs, credit towards new equipment and an ANNUAL PLUMBING INSPECTION! Catch problems early and pay less for future repairs!