How to Avoid Frozen Pipes This Winter

Posted by Wattson on Dec 6, 2016


We hate to burst your bubble, but lowering your thermostat during the winter months doesn’t always save you money. In fact, it may actually cost you thousands of dollars! Trust us – we’re all about keeping the thermostat at a comfortable 68 degrees, but we have two words for you: frozen pipes.

The Dangers of Frozen Pipes

Even if you’re brand new to the whole home-owning thing, there’s one thing you should know. Pipes freezing is not good. The first thing to worry about is water damage from the pipes bursting. Not all frozen pipes burst, but often times homeowners discover this problem after it’s too late. Despite how hard you try to sop up the water, the moisture may lead to structural damage and mold. This type of damage can be extremely costly, especially because most homeowner insurances do not cover this problem unless the homeowner can prove he or she took the proper measures to prevent the pipe from freezing.

Common Warning Signs of Frozen Pipes

How do you know if your home is in trouble?

  • Strong odor coming from drains.
  • Strange noises when you turn on the water.
  • Condensation or frost on exposed pipes.
  • Water damage in the ceiling or walls.

Are you in danger of your pipes freezing this winter? A no-cost Mass Save Energy Audit will help locate where cold air is sneaking into your home. Not to mention, Energy Monster’s technicians will insulate your pipes at no cost to you.

schedule mass save home energy audit

My House Isn’t That Cold. How Can My Pipes Freeze?

The most common misconception is that your house has to be 32 degrees or less for pipes to freeze. After all, that’s how cold water has to be to freeze, and that’s what your pipes are carrying. Homeowners who have exposed or semi-exposed pipes should be concerned about them freezing, especially if they’re not properly insulated. Perhaps your pipes are sealed tight behind closed walls. That doesn’t always mean they’re safe. Pipes that run close to the outside walls risk freezing. Even a cold breeze from a non-sealed window can do the trick.

Tips and Tricks to Prevent Frozen Pipes

Over the past few years, Worcester has experienced quite a few sub-zero temperature days. We recommend taking extra precautions when it dips below 20 degrees outside. The most surefire way to prevent your pipes from freezing is to install additional insulation to your home, insulate your pipes, and have your home professionally air-sealed. Do you want to make sure that your home is protect at all costs? Follow these tips, especially if you’re living in an older home.

  • Leave a faucet running slightly to keep water flowing through your pipes. Have you ever noticed that ponds freeze a lot faster than rivers? That’s because moving water is harder to freeze. In order to prevent wasting too much water, leave just one faucet on barely dripping.
  • Keep the cabinet doors below your sink open. Do you live in a historic home? Leave the cabinets open to allow warm air to flow around your sink’s pipes.
  • Don’t set your thermostat below 55 degrees if you’ll be out of town for an extended period of time.
  • Keep your home at a consistent temperature. We often advise homeowners to lower their thermostats a few degrees at night, as well as when everyone is away at school or work. But for those extra chilly days, keep a steady temperature. Sure, your heating bill may be a little more expensive that month, but you will have avoided thousands of dollars in damage and repair costs.
  • Garden hoses should be drained, disconnected and stored before cold weather comes. Despite the fact that it’s outdoors, a frozen garden hose can impact your home’s entire plumbing system.
  • Place a cover over outside spigots or faucets to prevent them from freezing.
  • Use a space heater where you have exposed pipes. Keep in mind this isn’t to heat the room but to make it just warm enough so that the pipes don’t freeze.

Prevention is always better than the cure. Schedule your Mass Save home energy assessment to make sure your Massachusetts home is ready to brave the harsh New England winter.

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