Tips on preparing your home for winter weather

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - From your pipes to your heater - there's a lot that goes into preparing your home for winter weather. One of the big concerns many people have are frozen pipes. To reduce the chances, plumbers have a few recommendations.

"Leaving the cabinets open under the kitchen, lavatory, or bathroom sink that lets the heat generate under there and warms everything up," Mark Thomas, a Plumber with Herman Plumbing Co, said. "You can leave the faucet running but just a small, small stream."

Another option is to wrap the pipes. Some stores sell pipe warmers but they say anything you can put around it to add some extra isolation can be very helpful.

"The biggest concerns with freezing lines is typically anywhere the water line comes up out of the ground outside the home," Travis Burdett, the Assistant Utilities Director with Grand Island Utilities, said. "Those are places you'll want to put something around the pipe to protect it."

It's also important to remember to plug heaters directly into the wall and make sure you're using ones designed to be inside.

"I would caution people to make sure you're using heat that's made for indoors," Burdett said. "Don't use anything that produces toxic fumes for example. They make those shop heaters that look like a little engine, I wouldn't use those indoors. Make sure those are ventilated."

If you plan to leave your home for a few days during winter, leave your heat is on least 60 degrees to help keep the house and pipes warm. Plumbers say if your pipes do freeze this winter there are a few ways to fix it. You can use a blow dryer or heat gun to warm them up, but stay away from any flames or torches.