- Keep your house heated to a minimum of 65 degrees. The temperature inside the walls where the pipes are located is substantially colder than the walls themselves. A temperature lower than 65 degrees might not keep the inside walls from freezing.
- Check the location for the main water shutoff in your home. And refresh your memory on—or learn—how it works, in case you have to use it.
- Open hot and cold faucets enough to let them drip slowly. In severely frigid temperatures, keeping water moving within the pipes will help prevent freezing.
- Check that fireplaces, wood stoves and electric heaters are working properly. Make sure there are no combustible items near the heat sources and watch them closely, especially the first time in the season you use them.
- Keep your fireplace flue closed when you’re not using it.
- Ask a neighbor to check the house regularly any time you're away. If pipes freeze or if there's a water leak, quick action could mean far less damage. If you plan to be away for an extended period of time, have the water system—including swimming pool plumbing, if applicable—drained by a professional to keep pipes from freezing or bursting.
If you've prepped your house for the winter weather, you're ahead of the game. When the temperature actually drops, here are a few more steps to take.
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