#8 A Winter Wonderland and How to Winterize Your House

We had one of the biggest snowstorms in Arkansas and it is going to be -12 F (-24 C) tonight! The groundhog 2021 prediction did say it is another 4-6 weeks of winter, so I guess he’s right! We got a call from Mr. Code Junkie’s dad with step by step instructions on how to shut off the water/winterize to prepare for the cold. I imagine every dad in America is out there calling their kids today, “make sure you shut your water off or keep it dripping so the pipe doesn’t freeze!” 

This is when good insulation pays off. We set the temperature in the barn at 62 degrees with a mini-split running, but it feels warmer than the house where the thermostat is set at 66.

We have a spigot outside and a water shutoff that the plumber installed.  You can barely tell where the water shutoff is with all the snow. I was quite excited to have a legitimate excuse to go outside. Even though it’s FREEZING, the air seems fresh and crisp. The little paw prints were left by Tali (our princess-greyhound) who really doesn’t like cold. She would run outside, pee, then dash back in and act like it was such laborious work.

The water shutoff usually has a black plastic top with a little hole for you to turn and lift the cover to open. Thank god this cover isn’t frozen shut when we tried to open it.

This is what it looks like inside. My reflection coupled with the trees makes this look a lot deeper and sinister but it’s about a foot deep in the ground where you can reach your arm in and turn the white handle from perpendicular to the pipe (on) to a 90-degree (off). I have no idea how I first learned about this but I guess it comes with homeownership!

Once the water is shut off, you turn on the spigot to drain the remaining water from the pipes to prevent them from freezing then damage the pipe.

Our house and cars are covered in snow, as well as the little free library! My friends from Houston said their utility companies started a rolling blackout to shut off their power every 2 hours for 30 minutes to save energy for the hospitals. It is indeed an insane winter! We turned down the heat to 62 to conserve energy. We also found some thick blankets to stuff to the bottom of our doors to prevent draft cold air from coming into the house. 

What are some ways you winterize your house?

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