After an unusually warm start to 2020, bitter-cold temperatures will grip Chelan County this week. The National Weather Service is forecasting a low of 9 degrees in Wenatchee for Tuesday night, and upper Wenatchee Valley and rural locations are likely to be 4-5 degrees colder. Above-freezing temperatures will not return until this weekend.
Here are some tips to prevent your water pipes from freezing during this cold spell:
- Open cupboard doors under sinks, especially where plumbing is in outside walls, to let interior heat warm the pipes.
- Temporarily, keep a steady drip of both hot and cold water at an inside faucet farthest from the meter. This keeps water moving, making it less likely to freeze.
- Place a lighted bulb in small unheated areas where water pipes are located.
If you plan to be away from home for an extended period this week, make sure you protect your home and pipes before you leave:
- Leave the thermostat set at least 55 degrees.
- Shut off the water to the house, turn off your water heater, and then open all faucets to drain the pipes; flush the toilets once to drain the tank, but not the bowl.
- Call Chelan County PUD (509-661-4254) to turn off water at the meter.
When it comes to heat, set your thermostat between 68 and 72 degrees, or lower. If you have a heat pump, don’t switch your thermostat to “e heat” or “auxiliary heat.” Switching to e heat essentially turns your heat pump into a furnace, overriding the benefit of your energy-saving system. (See “Avoid ‘e-heat’ and still be warm and comfortable” on our blog)
Customers often ask us, “Is there enough energy to heat all of our homes?” The answer is YES - energy supply is not an issue, even with the season’s high demand. In the event of an outage (caused by a downed line or other), our line crews are ready to respond to get your power back on as safely and quickly as possible.