Information from the nonprofit FLASH
Freezing weather predicted over the next few days is a good reminder to prepare for winter. Frozen pipes are the second most common cause of home insurance claims in the US, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Pipes that are either inadequately insulated or exposed to outside temperatures can freeze, rupture, and cause costly damage.The nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) recommends the following six inexpensive tips to ensure your home is well insulated. These steps will protect your home, save energy, and save you money too.
Prevent Pipes from Freezing
1. Foam: Insulate pipes exposed to the elements or cold drafts. For as little as $1 per 6' of insulation, you can stop pipes from freezing and save energy.
2. Dome: Placing an insulating dome or other covering on outdoor faucets and spigots also reduce the likelihood of the water in your pipes freezing, expanding and causing a costly leak.
3. Drip: Drip your faucets, to reduce the build-up of pressure in the pipes. Even if the pipes freeze, you have released the pressure from the water system reducing the likelihood of a rupture. If you are going out of town, and suspect that temperatures will drop, turn off water to your home and open all of the taps to drain the water system. This way you won't return to a frozen, soggy mess.
Insulate Your Windows and Doors
4. Check for air leaks around windows and doors using a lit incense stick. If the smoke is sucked out of an opening, seal the leak with caulk, spray foam or weather stripping.
5. The easiest place to insulate that will generate the biggest results is your attic. The US Environmental Protection Agency suggests at least 12 – 15 inches of insulation on the floor of your attic (more if you are in a colder climate).