When preparing for winter, plumbing isn’t always the number one priority for homeowners. However, ignoring plumbing and pipes can lead to more trouble than many people realize. Not only is there the cost of repairing frozen or burst pipes, but poor insulation also makes heating your home and using hot water more expensive throughout the year. There are various ways to protect your pipes from the cold, and the small price it costs to insulate piping and take preventive measures is a worthwhile investment in the long run.
Reasons for Pipe Insulation
There are three main reasons for insulating pipes. First, it prevents heat loss, which saves you money. According to the Department of Energy, water in insulated pipes remains two to four degrees warmer. This means you can reduce the temperature of your hot water heater, which will save you money in the long run. Proper insulation also means hot water is available as soon as you open the tap. Second, it prevents pipes from freezing, which can lead to blocked or burst pipes. Finally, insulation reduces the dangers of exposed hot pipes, protecting children and adults from accidentally scalding themselves.
Tips to Protect Your Pipes
The insulation within your house may not be enough to protect pipes from extreme cold. When the cold is more severe and is accompanied by harsh winds, cracks, holes, or poor insulation can still result in frozen pipes. Keeping all your water lines warm and safe requires a small investment, but it’s cheaper in the long run. Who wants the emotional and financial stress of having to repair damaged piping?
It’s important to pay special attention to pipes in unheated areas, as these pipes are more likely to freeze. If you do it yourself, you can get the necessary materials from hardware stores, usually in foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves. Make sure you buy the correct size of tubing, and take care when wrapping pipes that have frozen in the past. Plumbing supply stores and insulation dealers have extra-thick pipe sleeves that are worth the extra cost.
There are various other strategies to protect your pipes. Filling cracks and holes in building foundations will keep cold wind away from pipes. When it’s below freezing, you should turn the faucets on to produce a slow and steady drip. This will ease the pressure inside the pipe and help prevent freezing. Repairing worn or missing insulation around doors and windows will help prevent heat loss. And finally, don’t set your thermostat too low – you may incur a higher heating bill, but you’ll avoid the costly price of a repair job if pipes burst.
If you need expert help or you just don’t have the time to do it yourself, give Comfort Control, Inc. a call before an incident happens that leaves you with no heating at all.
Insulating pipes in unheated areas of your home is a great way to cut down on heating bills and prevent pipes from freezing or bursting. Before the cold weather arrives, make sure your home is adequately protected by using some of these suggestions. When it comes to your plumbing prevention is the best strategy. If you think your water pipes need more protection, or if your pipes freeze during the winter, give Comfort Control, Inc. a call. Our team of plumbing professionals can quickly diagnose and fix all plumbing problems.