Winter’s freezing temperatures can make you chilly, but they can do even more damage to your plumbing. Cold temperatures increase the likelihood of frozen pipes, which can burst and flood your basement or do other damage. The Chicagoland area is notorious cold and prone to unexpectedly chilly weather. To avoid it, you need to take these steps to winterize plumbing. Here’s how to winterize pipes in Joliet and the surrounding areas.
Before the freezing temperatures arrive, you should disconnect and drain your sprinkling system and other outdoor plumbing equipment. To winterize hose equipment, you should start by draining it of water and disconnecting it from the tap. Your sprinkling system should have a function that allows you to empty it and turn off the water for the year.
You may have pipes for your interior plumbing that are exposed in an unconditioned area such as the attic, basement or even outside. For any of these pipes, you should consider adding insulation. Insulation options range from specially designed pipe insulation to electrical tape and some kind of padding, such as straw. This step is a key part in ensuring you have a sump pump hose that won't freeze.
Air leaks in the home exterior can lead to excessively cold temperatures in the attic, crawlspace or basement. You can find the leaks by walking through the indoor space and feeling for cold air blowing or using a candle flame to see when it flickers. Sealing leaks with caulk can decrease the heat transfer in the room, so your pipes get the advantage of the warm air longer.
With cold outside temperatures, you need to keep your home at a reasonable temperature to maintain a balance. Ideally, you should set your thermostat to a minimum of 55 degrees. Keep in mind that your pipes in unconditioned areas may be colder than the main living areas. Don’t forget to maintain that minimum temperature while you’re on vacation, to reduce the risk of burst pipes.
During periods of extreme cold, you may need to take additional steps to winterize house plumbing. Your furnace may struggle to keep up with temperatures much below normal. You can help by opening cabinets and allowing the warm air to circulate around the pipes as much as possible. Consider opening a couple of your faucets on a slow drip to keep the water moving, so it is less likely to freeze.
At Gene May Heating & Cooling, we believe that professional service for your heating system is the best way to keep warm and avoid frozen pipes. We are proud to serve the Joliet area since 2007. For more information about how to winterize house plumbing, get the most from your heating system, or to schedule an appointment in the Chicago area, contact Gene May Heating & Cooling.