BEAUMONT, Texas — Just recently, Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter.
We know we'll have at least one more week of winter here in Southeast Texas. Now is the time for folks to start preparing in and around their homes for the extreme cold.
As Southeast Texans brace for what could be a cold blast, there are a few things you should check up on around your house, including your pipes.
Melanie Stehle with Premium Plumbing in Beaumont says any type of insulation you can find at your local hardware store, such as peel-and-stick foam insulation, should do the job in protecting your outdoor pipes against the extreme cold.
Stehle also recommends Southeast Texans drain any water from outdoor hoses ahead of this weekend.
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She says it's best to cover your hose bibs. That's the part that connects your water hose to your home.
If you don't have a faucet cover, Stehle says you can still use a towel or cloth to try and keep it warm.
It's also smart to turn your sink on slightly, just a slow drip to keep a little water moving through the pipes, which can help prevent pipes from busting.
But if a pipe does bust, Stehle says "The first thing you want to do is go get the water turned off, so it's not moving or flowing anymore."
Brad Davis, who owns Perfect Air in Kountze, said it's important to make sure you have a proper heating source in your home.
A furnace central heating or a space heater will do the job, but you have to be careful.
If you plan on using your furnace, test it beforehand, and make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector set up ready to go.
"Turn it up where it'll run for an hour or so, and it may be a little warmer than you'd like, but at least if that risk is fine, you know you're good," Davis said.
It's important to clean your furnace or electric heaters and leave space around them to prevent a fire.
"If clothes or something combustible is sitting in front of it, there's no safety built in to keep a fire from happening in that way," Davis said.
As Stehle put it, these precautions could take a little extra time and effort now, but could save you a lot of money in the end.