Extreme Cold: How to keep your pipes from freezing

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MOLINE, Illinois- Crawford Company HVAC Estimator Scott Kochuyt joined us on Good Morning Quad Cities Wednesday, January 30 to explain how you can keep your pipes from freezing.

Kochuyt says people should keep their cabinet doors open where there are pipes. He says that allows a little bit of heat to get to the pipes to keep them from freezing.

"If you had a problem in the past or your plumbing is on an outside wall, you might want to put a space heater there and get a little more heat into that space," he said. "Obviously we want you to be very careful about leaving those unattended."

Kochuyt also said you can drip the water from your faucet. He says moving water is much more difficult to freeze than stationary water. Giang Nguyen did a similar story Monday, January 30 and found three other ways to keep your pipes from freezing. To see that story, click here. 

Kochuyt also has some tips to keep your furnace running on a cold winter day:

  1. Keep your air filter clean. When it’s freezing cold outside, your furnace needs all the help it can get in order to keep your home warm. That’s why it’s extremely important to ensure that you have a clean air filter installed during extreme cold weather in order prevent your furnace from working harder than it needs to.
  2. Hold off on setting back your thermostat. Normally, it’s a great idea to lower your thermostat’s temperature setting during the  hours that you’re away from home in order to conserve energy. However, this can cause more trouble than it’s worth when it’s excessively cold outside because it will be harder for your furnace to bring your home back up to your desired at-home temperature. Keep your thermostat set at a consistent setting until the weather warms back up to normal temperatures for this season.
  3. Be prepared for colder indoor temperatures. Your furnace can only maintain a differential between outdoor and indoor temperatures to a certain degree. During extreme cold weather, some furnaces might not be able to bring a home all the way up to its desired temperature level. Instead of cranking up your thermostat (which won’t help the matter), try wearing warmer clothes and blankets around the house to stay warm.
  4. Keep vents clear in high efficiency furnaces. The vents that are used in high efficiency furnaces lead outside of your home and are located near ground level. This leaves them vulnerable to getting clogged with ice and snow. When it’s extremely cold out, check to ensure that those vents stay clear so that your system doesn’t develop performance or safety issues.
  5. Ask a neighbor to check on your house when you’re gone. If your furnace goes out during severely cold weather, it can leave your home more susceptible to other potential problems like frozen pipes. If you’re going to be away from home for a while and you know that we’re expecting colder weather than usual, have a neighbor check to make sure that your heat is working so that you can catch problems before they get worse.
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