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Prevent Frozen Pipes this Winter in Northern Virginia

Winter brings a ton of fun, gorgeous things along with it. From beautiful snowfall, to a strong holiday spirit, many look forward to the season. However, the winter brings a few things that are less than great along with it as well. Are you familiar with frozen pipes? The specialists at HVAC Unlimited would rather you didn’t have to be!

Assessing the Threat: Location, Location

Whether or not your pipes are in danger, unsurprisingly, has a lot to do with where they are:

  • Exposed outdoor pipes. While outdoor pipe materials are chosen with the possibility of freezing or bursting in mind, they can use all the help you can give them.
  • Pipes located in interior walls. Pipes that reside in outer walls can be at serious risk, especially if your insulation isn’t quite up to snuff.
  • Exposed interior pipes. Often disregarded, indoor pipes that stand in open air are nearly as likely to freeze as outdoor pipes, particularly if they reside in an unheated portion of your home.

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes: The Preparation

Understanding what goes into prevention has the most bearing on whether or not this wicked little disaster hits your home. Be sure you go through these preventative measures.

Outdoor Prevention

  • Put away the hose. A frozen garden hose doesn’t seem like all that big of a deal, but in actuality it creates a very real risk to your pipes (a frozen hose places pressure on your internal plumbing, increasing the risk of a burst). The hose should be put away and drained. The spigot should be capped off and insulated as well, to ward against our frigid Virginian winters.
  • Insulate exposed pipes. We would recommend a heating cable (or heat tape), but even foam insulation adds a layer of protection, and could save you a lot of stress.

Indoor Prevention

  • Insulate these, too. Just as with outdoor pipes, exposed indoor pipes should be covered with at the very least some foam insulation. The insulation (or better yet the heating cable/heat tape) resists the chill, allowing water to continue running unhindered throughout your home.
  • Minimize pressure. To minimize the risk of pressure building during a heavy freeze, keep a faucet running. Important. Yes, this old trick does indeed work. But, you need little more than the barest of drips. You don’t have to have the thing running wide open, or even with a steady stream. The idea is to relieve pressure, and you don’t need much. Additionally, choose a faucet as far as possible from your central plumbing for the best results.

Prevent Frozen Pipes in Virginia with HVAC Unlimited

Even if you’ve done everything in your power to prevent frozen pipes, sometimes disaster decides to strike all the same. If you find yourself facing a frozen or burst pipe this winter, don’t panic! The certified experts at HVAC Unlimited are prepared to provide the solutions you need. You can reach us online any time, any day!

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