KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — As East Tennessee braces for arctic temperatures, experts say now is the time to make sure your home is ready for the tumbling temperatures moving our way.
“You’re just trying to stop the freezing from starting outside and working its way back into the pipes,” explained Chad Moye, GreenBelt Handyman, LLC.
According to Moye, keeping your home safe starts with the spigots.
“Most newer homes will have a frost-proof spigot. It’s a spigot that will have a small diaphragm on the top. As long as they’re turned off and the hose is not connected to them you should be good. Now, older homes will have just a regular old-school spigot with rubber washers. It will freeze and then track back into the house.”
Next, on to the gutters.
“If you have a bunch of garbage in the gutters, it will freeze and then that gives a place for water to track back into the house,” Moye told WATE. “You’ll get odd little drip marks on your interior drywalls and it’s really not good. It can get underneath your shingles and your siding and cause all kinds of damage.”
For inside your home, one expert says to double-check your heating equipment and make sure you know how to use it.
“Have I checked my filter? Do I have a carbon monoxide detector? Folks will turn their thermostats way down or way up,” said Mike Davis, City Heating and Air Conditioning President. “We don’t recommend you turn it way down and then to turn it way up and expect it to do much. It just won’t.”
Next, Davis suggests checking for any drafts.
“If you have a house with a crawl space and the vents, they should be shut this time of year where cold air isn’t going under the house,” said Davis. “If you have cabinets or faucets that are close to an outdoor wall, you want to leave your cabinet doors open so the warm air can get under there.”
Lastly, have a plan ready in case of an emergency.
“Whether it’s a portable heater, gas heater, something so you’re not depending on a contractor,” explained Davis.
Another important tip? Make sure you know who to call if your heater or furnace breaks. Davis says knowing that information beforehand can reduce the amount of time you’re stuck in the cold.
For more cold weather advice, click here.