Plumbing and Heating Tips
Pipe Insulation- Use foam padding sleeves or special insulating tape to guard your pipes (both hot water and cold water) against freezing. Any exposed pipe or plumbing fixtures should be kept warm with space heaters (lamps) from a safe distance. Every few days, check out pipes in basements or little used areas of the house to make sure no ice or frost is accumulating or cracks developing.
Running Water- Be sure to run water from every valve in your house at regular intervals throughout the winter. This will prevent freezing.
Spigots & Hoses- Detach your garden hoses before freezing temperatures arrive in the fall. Close the shut-off valve on the pipes which lead to your outdoor spigots. Drain any residual water from spigots or hoses. Don’t leave hoses attached to outdoor faucets over the winter; roll up and store till spring.
Holiday Cooking- Cooking grease and oils put a real strain on drains, pipes and garbage disposals. Grease and oil are more likely to collect and clog when your plumbing is colder, so do your best not pour down the drain. Also, refrain from putting hard to grind objects or stringy substances down into the disposal. Always run cold water through the disposal for at least 15 seconds before and after each use. Be sure to turn the disposal on before filling it with food debris.
Showers- At least 10 minute intervals between showers is optimal to maintain hot water and proper pressure. You may also want to turn up the water heater during the cold season as well; to prevent burns, do not put it above 125 degrees Fahrenheit.
Eliminate Drafts- Check around your home for areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas and take measures to prevent the flow of cold air in these areas. Examples: basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated. A hot water supply line can freeze just as a cold water supply line can freeze if water is not running through the pipe and the water temperature becomes cold.
If Indoor Faucets Freeze:
· Leave the cabinet doors under the faucets open so that they can get more heat.
· If it gets intensely cold, run a little bit of water from each valve in the house each day. Let the water trickle very slowly into the sink.
· Heat every room of your home, not just a few rooms. Allow warm air to circulate freely throughout your house.
If Pipes Freeze, Burst or Crack:
· Turn off the water at the main shut-off valve so that you don’t have problems as the ice melts.
· Leave the faucets on to relieve pressure as the ice melts.
· Use a blow dryer or heat gun to thaw frozen pipes.
· DO NOT use any torches or open flames to thaw pipes. (Please Note: Horizon Services does not provide service to thaw a frozen pipe).
Heat Zones- Be sure to keep anything that can catch fire or burn at least 3 feet away from heating equipment, use this zone as a "kid-free" zone as well for safety.
Oven Heat- Avoid using your oven to heat your home.
Chimney Cleaning- Be sure to have your heating equipment and/or chimney cleaned and inspected every year by a professional. (INSERT A CLEAN AND CHECK CALL NOW BUTTON SOMEHOW TO SCHEDULE WITH US)
Portable Heaters- If you use portable heaters, be sure that you turn them off before you leave the room or go to bed.
Smoke Detectors- Test all your smoke detectors monthly. They are a life saver.
· Take advantage of the sunlight and open any curtains to help heat your home.
· Check for drafty windows. If you find one, use a plastic sheet on the frame, covering foam, or if needed, invest in a replacement window. If you allow air to draft in your home it will continue to work against your heating equipment.
· When you are home and awake, keep the thermostat set as low as you can as long as you are comfortable
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