According to the Insurance Information Institute, frozen pipes are the second most common cause of home insurance claims in the United States. And this week’s arctic blast is a reminder to prepare your home and family today. Pipes that are either inadequately insulated or exposed to outside temperatures can freeze, rupture, and cause costly damage. Following these six simple and affordable tips from FLASH will help ensure your home is properly insulated—saving you money and energy too.
Prevent Pipes from Freezing
For as little as $1 per 6’ of insulation, you can prevent frozen pipes.
- 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.
- Dome: Placing an insulating dome or cover on outdoor faucets and spigots will reduce the likelihood of water inside the pipes freezing, expanding, and causing costly leaks.
- Drip: Drip your faucets to reduce the build-up of pressure in the pipe as even if the pipes freeze, you have released the pressure from the water system and reduced the likelihood of a rupture. If you are going out of town, turn off the water to the home and open all taps to drain the water system. This will keep you from returning home to a frozen, soggy mess.
Insulate Your Windows and Doors
- 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.
- Remember, the most beneficial place to insulate is your attic. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggests at least 12 to 15 inches of insulation on the floor of your attic, and more if you are in a colder climate.
- If you don’t have energy-efficient windows, consider using a shrink film window insulation kit from a local hardware store to keep warm air in and cold air out.