Your Place: How to keep freeze-proof faucets unfrozen

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Hereís a piece of advice that you might wish to acknowledge:

Freeze-proof faucets must not have hoses attached this time of the year. Otherwise, they freeze, as a veteran home builder once told me, based on complaints he had received from recent buyers.

Remove the hose, drain the water from it, and store it in the garage or basement. To be on the safe side, shut off the water to the faucet if you can.

Now to the meat and potatoes of todayís column: some winterizing tips, via Sears Home Services.

Much of this, of course, is what Iíve told you over the years, but just in case you donít believe me:

Insulate your pipes, which will reduce heat loss and can raise water temperature two to four degrees, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

This allows you to lower your water-temperature setting and decreases the wait time for hot water when you turn on a faucet or showerhead, which also helps conserve water.

It also can decrease the chance of pipes freezing, especially the ones in the basement that are against the walls.

Check to see whether your pipes are warm to the touch. If they are, be ready to insulate. You can get pre-slit pipe foam at most hardware stores. You will want to cut it to size and fasten it in place with duct tape.

Block those drafts. Throughout the winter, cold air can trickle in underneath your doors while warm air escapes. The solution: a draft snake, one of the easiest ways to save on energy. By rolling up a towel or buying one of these snakes, you can keep the cold air out.

Run your fans, one of the most controversial bits of advice in my years of writing this column.

Ceiling fans are a staple when trying to cool down in the summer, but they can also provide comfort in the winter.

In colder months, switch the direction of the fans, so the blades rotate clockwise and run at a low speed.

This will cause the room air to rise gently toward the ceiling, forcing warm air down and throughout the room.

Or, as some of you have argued in the past, maybe not.