Winter is coming: Freezing temperature tips

Published 7:00 am Friday, November 14, 2014

Today everyone awoke to a chill in the air, on a level that may prompt many to put on an extra layer of clothing before leaving the house.

But did you also remember to bring in tender vegetation and outside pets last night?

Temperatures last night were forecast to drop to below freezing. Animals and certain vegetation are vulnerable to such temperatures and should be brought indoors.

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Vehicles are also vulnerable to freezing temperatures if they are not maintained properly.

At times lax vehicle owners with a coolant leak will opt to pour pure water in their radiator or water reservoir instead of the proper mix of water and antifreeze in order to save money. As the name implies, adding antifreeze in the proper proportion will prevent the coolant system in your vehicle from freezing. The problem with freezing water is that it expands. Rigid pipes tend to burst when water freezes inside them. Remember back to the time you left a canned soda in the freezer. If you left it in there too long it burst, leading to a very messy freezer.

The same applies to waterlines that lead into your home. Be sure to protect those by wrapping exposed water pipes with insulation. You’ll be glad you did when you get up the next morning and the water still works.

If your home is connected to a well instead of community water service, you will need to protect the water pump system as well.

If the pump and other water components are not in an insulated shed, then cover them with a tarp and put a powered incandescent bulb under the tarp with the pump. The incandescent bulb can also be used in the pump shed to keep the temperature inside above freezing.

Be sure to use and incandescent bulb, which emits a large amount of heat. The newer compact fluorescent bulbs are energy efficient, but do not emit enough heat to keep the pump and other components from freezing.

So bundle up for the coming winter, and keep up with weather forecasts, especially those that involve freezing temperatures this season.