When temperatures plunge into deep freeze territory, it becomes a challenge to stay safe and warm.
Here are some tips from Boston Standard Plumbing & Heating Co. to help you project yourself, your home, and your wallet.
Insulate your pipes
There are products on the market for insulating water pipes, like pipe sleeves, heat cables, and heat tape.
Also, newspaper can provide some insulation and protection to exposed pipes, the company said.
You can use as little as ¼-inch of newspaper to protect areas that are not exposed to frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing, the company said.
What to do with a frozen pipe
Use a hair dryer, an incandescent or infrared light, or a space heater to thaw a frozen pipe. Never use a blowtorch, the company said.
If you have a frozen pipe below the sink, open up the doors to the base cabinet so that more heat can get to the pipes.
In exceptional cold, don’t turn your thermostat down at all, Boston Standard Co. said. If you can stand keeping your home heated to 68 or 70 degrees, do it! Being frugal with the heat in these temperatures is false economy.
The most sound financial move is to forget about any small savings in heating costs from lowering the temperature, and keep those pipes warm.
Winterize your outdoor faucets
First, close the valve leading to your exterior faucet. Most of the valves are located on the other side of the wall from where the faucet is located.
When you go outside, remove any hose from the faucet and open the valve.
Go back inside and drain any water remaining in the pipe into a small container.
Joseph Wood of Boston Standard Co. walks you through the process in this video.
Keep vents clear of snow
If you have a high efficiency furnace, make sure the external intake and exhaust vents are sufficiently clear from snow, Boston Standard Co. said. The intake pipe is the most important to watch because if it gets blocked, the furnace may stop working and lead to a home that is too cold to live in.