Preparing Your Home for Cold Weather

Lynchburg, VA - With temperatures going way down, you need to make sure your house is ready.

One of the main concerns with the cold weather is pipes freezing. It's important to be sure your pipes are insulated and prepared for the cold temperatures and winds.

You also want to take the right precautions when using space heaters and generators. Both can have dangerous results if used incorrectly.

Ken Settje of Plumb Care Plumbing says the best way to prepare your pipes for cold weather is to insulate them.

Prepare for the cold by shutting vents to crawl spaces and unscrew your outside hose from the faucets. Turn your water completely off if you'll be away from your home.

If you are concerned about your pipes freezing, one of the best ways to be sure it doesn't happen is to turn on a thin stream of water about the size of pencil lead.

"Yeah, you lose ten dollars in water that day, but you're not paying for a hundred dollar or a five hundred dollar frozen pipe in the wall and then when it thaws out it leaks all over and you have to take the siding off or your kitchen cabinets out or things like that," Settje said.

Besides pipes freezing, there are other dangers that come into play with the cold weather.

Many use space heaters to give their heat a boost, but space heaters are often the cause of fires.

"Anything that can burn needs to be kept at least three feet away from those items. It lessens the possibility of your house catching fire really exponentially," said Greg Wormser, Batallion Chief of the Lynchburg Fire Department.

If the winds pick up and the power goes out, generators can put you at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning.

"Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas, and typically you don't know you're being affected by it until it's too late," Wormser said.

Generators need to be running from an extension cord away from the house.

"The generator should be well away from the home. Many times we see people using generators and the generator is running sitting on the front porch, or sitting in the basement- and that can be disastrous, it can really make you sick," Wormser added.

Settje says they are always on call 24/7 and plan to get more calls with the cold weather.