AUSTIN (KXAN) — Protecting your pets, pipes and plants.
But when should one actually worry about pipes being compromised? One home improvement store is helping us clear out the gray areas behind preparing you and your home for winter weather.
Owner of Zinger Hardware, Michael Ferweda, recommends wrapping pipes when the forecast calls for freezing temperatures over an extended period of time. Also, you want to be sure you let your faucets drip to keep water moving through the pipes. Exposed pipes are more sensitive to freezing temperatures. However, Ferweda says that’s especially true in older homes that are raised off the ground because that air flow from underneath your home can freeze pipes easier.
“If there’s a laundry center outside the garage area where there’s not insulation, those will burst,” says Ferweda while discussing various situations that pipe damage could occur. “There are a lot of hot water heaters outside the house or in the attic which can cause a lot of damage.” He also mentions situations where a pipe running through the garage wall to an outside hose bib could burst.
As far as protecting outdoor plants, Ferweda says that when you cover your plants, make sure the material is somewhat off of the plant because the cold will transfer through the solid blanket and freeze the outer leaves. Also, don’t try to put a heavy blanket on them. “You may want to wrap your pots. Let’s say you have larger pots outside you can’t move those in, you may want to wrap that with a blanket or something just to keep the roots from freezing.”
Dropping temperatures will likely have you cranking up the thermostat. Here are some tips from Austin Energy that may help you heat your home efficiently while keeping costs down:
- Austin Energy recommends that you drop your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower.
- If you have a “heat pump,” then drop your thermostat to 63 degrees.
- You can close all shades and blinds at night to stop heat from radiating out of your home.
- Be sure to always keep flammable material away from space heaters.
- Check fireplace and make sure the damper is closed, when fireplace is not in use.
Remember, such cold conditions may threaten sensitive plants, pet, and particularly cold-sensitive livestock. Early preparations are key in keeping you and your property safe.
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