Winterize your home before your wallet and pipes pay the price

Published: Dec. 14, 2022 at 5:37 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 14, 2022 at 5:58 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - It’s that time of year for hot chocolate, cozy sweaters, and home maintenance.

Subfreezing temperatures are returning to the Ozarks, and winterizing your home can save you thousands if done correctly.

“You want to make sure your hoses are disconnected from the hose bibs, you close up the crawlspace doors, you got all the crawlspace windows closed up to stop any drafts,” Brock Faulkner, the Service Manager at United Plumbing, explained, “as the drafts come in, they’ll freeze the pipe and water will expand, and depending on your pipe material, if it cannot expand, you’ll have busted pipes.”

Barry Bruce with All Klear All Hours Plumbing Heating and Cooling said you also need to check your foundation and exposed pipes for any cracks. Sealing those off will prevent cold air from affecting your pipes.

Residents in older homes should also consider leaving the faucet dripping at night to prevent frozen pipes.

Overnight while temperatures continue to drop, open your cabinets and expose your pipes to let warm air in. You can also use a space heater to keep indoor pipes warm.

If you have the heat on, ensure your fan moves in a clockwise direction on a low setting to increase airflow inside the home. This ensures all the heat you’re spending money on is being felt in every room.

You can change the direction of your fan by flipping the small switch on the base of the fan. If you have a smart fan or something remote-controlled, there may be a different way to change the direction. Just make sure the fan is completely off before changing any settings.

Planning a holiday getaway? Faulkner said your to-do list should include some essential items.

“You want to make sure it’s winterized properly as far as draining down the water heater, draining the traps under the sink, you want to use eco-friendly anti-freeze, it’s safe for our sewer systems and waterways,” Faulkner explained.

Experts estimate fixing a broken or frozen pipe can cost anywhere between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars.

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