Things to do now to prevent pipe disasters and high energy bill in frigid cold

DENVER -- Here in Colorado we enjoy lots of sunshine during the winter months, but don't be fooled, it doesn't take a blizzard to burst pipes or catapult your heating bill into the stratosphere.

Danny Talbot of Mountain Drains and Plumbing tells the FOX31 Problem Solvers he has so much business this time of year he’s now looking to add extra staff.

He says pipes can be fragile, “Everything freezes at 32 degrees. Copper pipe (will) freeze and it will expand and crack.”

Talbot recommends running water in faucets and insulating pipes when temperatures drop below freezing.

Older structures can present special challenges.

Gail Riley, co-owner of the popular Highland Haven Creekside Inn in Evergreen lovingly cares for the beautiful historic lodge nestled in the forest just off the town’s main street.

The main area was constructed in 1860 and maintains its classic, elegant charm.

She says changes made to fireplaces, like minimizing the size of drafts, conserve energy while creating a comfortable environment. The fireplaces maintain their original beauty and provide a cozy, warm environment.

Riley showed FOX31 the two level Tree House Suite, where the area is surrounded by huge windows to allow a pristine view, but the temperature is kept balanced by radiant floors, heated by hot water pumped underneath.

Riley says the structure is also properly insulated, “Windows are double sealed. Closing the curtains keeps it at a maintained temperature.”

Pipes too close to the surface can easily freeze so Riley and her husband had them buried deeper for extra protection.

Plumbing experts tell the Problem Solvers opening cabinets to let warm air waft into the inner walls can protect pipes against freezing along with insulation placed around exposed areas.

Water hoses outside should be disconnected as well.

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