If you’re on the north east, you already know that we’ve had it pretty good this winter. Somewhat unpredictable weather, which sometimes can give a false sense of security to many homeowners, management companies and superintendents of buildings. Below are some actions you can take immediately and other are considered good-to-know based on our experience in the plumbing industry for over 15 years.

Go ahead, invest in digital.

A digital thermostat (programmable thermostat) is something you should strongly consider. The ability to set a schedule while you’re home, sleeping, at work can save you money throughout the winter. Many of the newer models have capabilities to learn your behaviors and preferences. If that freaks you out, you can get on that works with a smartphone app, so you can control it from there. Here is a fact from Good Housekeeping, “for every degree you set your thermostat back over eight hours, you’ll save about 1 percent on your heating bill each year.” Not too bad, huh?

Anti-freeze, isn’t just for your car.

We love this for homes that need to be winterized and will have very little activity over the winter. Once you’ve drained the pipes in your home, to help preserve the places and appliances where a small amount of water might still linger use a bit of antifreeze. Do this so that water won’t freeze, expand and ruin anything in your home. DO NOT pour any antifreeze into your drinking system, dishwasher or washing machine – that would not be good.

Your home doesn’t like piles of snow

While, this isn’t exactly a plumbing or heating tip, it’s something we’ve learned. Piling snow against your home can cause more issues once the snow melts. That water has to go somewhere. The last place you want all that water is in your basement. You may have a crack in the foundation that otherwise wouldn’t have been trouble, but it will become an entry for water.

Close those holes

Pipes, gas lines, and electrical cables that enter your house often have gaps around them that have been haphazardly filled with some kind of caulk. But that caulk eventually cracks, peels, and falls off. For water pipes under your sink, unscrew and pull back the escutcheon ring, then caulk around the pipe, so the cold air can not enter. These gaps let in outside air, plus they are ideal entry points for mice and insects and no one wants them either!

Until next time, keep warm, safe and informed!