How to Deal with Old Man Winter

Pipes are freezing. Houses are burning due to unattended space heaters. People are complaining about drafts. These winter woes can be avoided with by taking simple preventive measures. You know the old addage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
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There are a couple things you can do to keep your pipes from freezing. Dripping the water in your faucets is the simplest way to avoid frozen pipes. It doesn’t take much flow to keep the freezing at bay. Opening the cabinet doors under sinks also assists in keeping the pipes ice free. Pipe wrap can be purchased at most hardware and home goods stores. The wrap is made of foam and easily slips around water lines.

Space heaters are great for warming small spaces in a hurry, but are very dangerous if left unattended or for long periods of time. If using space heaters indoors, please only use electric ones. Propane, natural gas, and kerosene space heaters can emit dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide if used inappropriately or in enclosed spaces. Never leave any kind of space heater unattended due to fire risks.

According to energy.gov, more than 25,000 residential fires are attributed to space heaters every year. More than 300 people die every year as a result of those fires. There have already been two house fires in my area in the past couple of weeks as a result of people using space heaters to defrost frozen pipes.

Sealing the cracks in your home will keep you warmer and reduce your energy consumption. Caulking around windows and installing weatherstripping or foam tape around doors can drastically reduce drafts. Even using draft dodgers in the gaps around your doors will help reduce air infiltration.

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