MOUNT VERNON — Dealing with arctic temperatures can be a daunting task for homeowners. How does one keep the wind from getting through old windows and door frames? What’s the best way to keep water pipes from freezing? What furnace checks should be done?
Charles Wolfe of Knox County Plumbing said people who are worried about pipes freezing could put heaters down in their basements to keep the temperature above freezing. They should also keep the water dripping slowly from the faucets in the kitchen sink and bathrooms. If the pipes have frozen, Wolfe said, the best option is to call a plumber to bring in a torpedo heater to reheat the pipes. Homeowners can try to thaw the pipes themselves, he said, but it isn’t really recommended.
The City of Mount Vernon Division of Water & Wastewater in a press release said, to keep lines from freezing back into the meters, residents have the option to allow their water to run in a small thin stream. The release added, “We allow some freeze credit as explained on the city website if notified in writing,”
As far as keeping drafts out of houses, prevention is still the best method, said Steve Hall of Modern Builders.
“All the foul weather issues really should be addressed in the summer and fall months when the weather is still good,” he said, “However, the expandable foam you can purchase at a hardware store would be a good stopgap measure to put around the cracks and crevices on the inside of window and door frames. The plastic shrink wrap might work on the inside as a little bit of relief, but I don’t know how effective that would be trying to install it in this weather.”
Cosby Heating & Cooling’s Paul Eddy said it is important for people to make sure their furnace filters are clean. “The furnace is going to be running all the time,” he said. “If they have a high-efficiency furnace, they need to make sure no snow or ice is blocking the intake or the exhaust out on the side of the house. That happens more than people think, especially when it gets really cold.”
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