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Preparing Your Home for Sub-Freezing Temperatures


KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The latest burst of winter weather has home experts in the Kanawha Valley busy.

"A lot of the older homes may not have insulation in the walls," said John Gibson, a consultant with Dr. Energy.

Workers said they've been repairing a lot of burst pipes.

But there are things you can do to protect your home.

"Make sure your windows are sealed, your crawlspace, things like that. Anything that has air can get around your pipes, come underneath your house, holes where wires are drilled through," said Dennis Dodrill, owner of Dodrill Comfort and Energy Solutions.

Dodrill said the especially cold weather means your furnace is working overtime, and maintenance is key.

"It's drawing more air through that duct-work and across that filter, so naturally it's going to get dirtier quicker and once that gets stopped up, it starts affecting the operation of the furnace," Dodrill said.

At one home, workers checked for spots where cold air is seeping in.

They said some of the top spots include your attic and basement.

"Along that rim joist is where the air actually pulls in around the walls, and that's what creates the drafts that you feel in the home," Dodrill said.

Workers said that's why it's important to make sure you have 15 to 16 inches of insulation and that all cracks are sealed.

But, it's no easy job.

"There are literally hundreds of holes in a house," Gibson said.

Still, they said a little preparation helps and it could save you a higher energy bill or a burst pipe.

Workers said when temperatures drop into the teens, your furnace will work about 40 percent more than if temperatures were in the 30s and 40s.

Home experts also said it's a good idea to remove your garden hose from your outdoor faucet in cold temperatures.

They said the water in the hose can freeze and could cause pipes to burst.


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