Preparing for Winter

Here are some cold-weather tips to prevent your electric bill from getting out of hand AND help reduce stress on the electrical system:

  1. Cozy up with a sweater, not the thermostat. Turn your heat down 1-2 degrees, or the lowest temperature you are comfortable with, and put a sweater and/or blankets on yourself.
  2. Let the sun in during the day but close your drapes at night. Take advantage of that solar heat gain but eliminate the heat loss after the sun goes down.
  3. Heat where you are. If using baseboards or zonal heating, only heat parts of the home that you will be using.
  4. Check your water heating settings. Do not have the thermostat set above 125 degrees.
  5. Eliminate drafts from doors. Use a door draft stopper/guard or just a blanket to prevent unwanted heat loss. Minimize how often you are going in/out of your home.

Prepare Your Home for Cold Temperatures

  • Open cupboard doors under sinks, especially where plumbing is in outside walls, to let interior heat warm the pipes.
  • Place a lighted bulb in small unheated areas where water pipes are located.
  • Keep attached garage doors closed.
  • 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.
  • If you are away for any length of time, leave the heat set at at least 55 degrees. Shut off water to the house and open all faucets to drain pipes; flush the toilet once to drain the tank, but not the bowl. Call Chelan County PUD (509) 661-4254 to turn off water at the meter.

Winterize Your Water System

  • Disconnect and drain hoses from outside faucets.
  • Turn off and drain irrigation systems and backflow devices. Wrap backflow devices with insulating material.
  • Be sure you know the location of the water shut-off valve in your home. Check it periodically to ensure it works properly. Show household members where the main shut-off is located in case of emergencies.
  • Wrap outside faucets with insulation.
  • Insulate hot and cold pipes in unheated areas, such as the garage, crawl space or attic.