Frigid temperatures: How to protect your home and its plumbing in the cold of winter

Keep close watch on pipes in outside walls

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Insulation is one of the most important factors in preventing frozen and broken pipes this winter.

Pipes that are located along outside wall at the foundation of your home are especially susceptible to freezing.

MORE TIPS: Check out our Winter Page

Insulate pipes in your home's basement along the foundation, in crawl spaces, and even in the attic -- any location where pipes are just one wall from the outside. The more insulation you use, the better protected your pipes will be.

Take time to make a close inspection for air leaks that allow cold air inside near where pipes are located.

It's common for air leaks to occur around electrical wiring, dryer vents and pipes. Use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out.

When temperatures drop below 20 degrees, even a tiny opening can let in enough cold air to cause a pipe to freeze.

You should always disconnect garden hoses before winter, and use an indoor valve to shut off and drain the water from pipes leading to outside faucets.

Draining the water and leaving outdoor spigots open dramatically reduces the chance of freezing in the short span of pipe just inside the house.

If needed, you can leave a trickle of hot and cold water running to keep your pipes from freezing.

Keep cold air out is a specialty for Cleveland's Kilroy Home Insulation Company.

Upgrading your home insulation can often pay for itself with 3 years, according to company owner Bill Kilroy.

"We can reduce the total air loss in your home by 50%, which is a huge reduction, and can save money in your pocketbook," said Kilroy.

Meanwhile when it comes to protecting your pipes, dropping your thermostat at night before you go to bed, isn't always a good idea. This could cause further drops in temperature in your basement and freeze your pipes.

Another tip is to keep cabinet doors open to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.

Kilroy recommends looking into insulation rebate programs like Dominion East Ohio's Energy Star Program.

The program requires a home inspection, and an energy audit, which helps experts find air leaks in your home. The program could make the home owner eligible for hundreds in insulation rebates.  

More money saving insulation tips are located on this website:

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