Opening cabinet, bathroom and kitchen doors allow warm air to freely circulate around pipes. This equal distribution of heat helps prevent pipes freezing by making it harder for ice blockages to form. However, take precautions like removing hazardous chemicals if you have young children or curious pets in the home.
2. Insulate all pipes
Focus insulation efforts on pipes located in unheated spaces like garages, lofts and basements — as these frosty locales pose the highest frozen pipe risk. Tailor insulation thickness to pipe size, as thinner pipes require extra protection against the cold. Pipe insulation materials like foam sleeves and fiberglass are quite effective, especially when checking for and sealing any gaps at valves and bends.
3. Set appropriate thermostat temperature
While lowering the thermostat at night can save energy, it also leaves pipes vulnerable to freezing. Instead, maintain a steady day and night temperature to distribute warmth evenly throughout your home. This consistency makes it harder for ice to block pipes and avoids burst disasters.
4. Let your faucet drip
Running taps relieves pressure in the system, preventing burst pipes when freezing does occur. The water flow also creates friction warmth inside pipes to thaw or avoid ice blockages altogether. So, let those taps drip during sub-zero snaps — flushing pipes in the process.
5. Seal cracks and holes
Outdoor cold air leaking into your home can freeze inside pipes in a flash. Inspect walls and ceilings for cracks and openings allowing frigid air to infiltrate — then grab the caulk. Sealing gaps blocks cold drafts and complements keeping doors closed to lock warmth in.
6. Check water flow rate
When pipes start to freeze, water flow slows to a trickle as ice expands inside. Catch the issue early by monitoring rate changes at all faucets. Then, shut off main supply valves and open all taps to relieve pressure and thaw any partial blockages.
7. Leave the heater on
Running your heating system non-stop in winter might hike energy expenditures. However, frozen pipe repairs tend to cost far more than a high electric bill. So, make a strategic choice to keep house temperatures warm all day, every day when it's icy outdoors. It does not have to be sweltering hot, just a baseline of above 55 degrees. Think prevention over pipes busting open inside walls.