As the Polar Vortex approaches more and more homeowners have asked us what they can do to prepare their home. Though the term “Polar Vortex” is a relatively new, this is not a meteorological phenomenon. A Polar Vortex happens throughout the year, both in summer and in the winter. The Polar Vortex is always there. The Jet Stream surrounds the Polar Vortex, if you’re north of the Jet Stream you’re inside of the Polar Vortex. The Jet Stream separates the cold polar temperatures from the warmer tropical temperature. This happens year round, and sometimes during the summer the Jet Stream will drop and bring the colder weather during summer months as well.
So if the Polar Vortex is always happening, why is it all over the news?
Well, sometimes the Jet Stream (Polar Vortex) drops more south than normal, bringing with it more cold air from the North Pole. The Jet Stream right now is dipping as far south as Florida. This is a rare occurrence. With the Jetstream as far south as it is, New Jersey is experiencing even colder temperatures coming from the North Pole. The longer the Jet Stream stays south of New Jersey, the colder it will get.
Will I have to worry about freezing pipes?
With the temperatures approaching record lows, the risk of your pipes freezing increases. While most pipes inside your home will not be exposed to these freezing temperatures, there are a few places that could come close to freezing. Kitchen or bathroom cabinets can create a barrier and keep warm air from reaching your pipes. You can check if any of these cabinets are at risk by seeing if the inside of these cabinets are cold. If the cabinet is colder on the inside you can leave the cabinet door cracked and allow the warm air to reach the pipes. You can also leave your faucet dripping to keep the water in the pipes moving.
If you have plumbing pipes in your home that goes through unconditioned space ( attic, crawl space, or garage) there is the possibility they may freeze over and/or burst. Wrapping these pipes with heat tape can prevent pipes from freezing in temperatures as low as -38 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are unsure of how to heat wrap pipes or what pipes are in unconditioned space, it would best be left for an expert.
Allied Plumbing: (856)-701-1299
What are some Do’s and Don’ts when trying to warm your home?
With the temperatures dropping into single digits, some older homes might have issues keeping the cold out. Even though it might be tempting to use your gas stove or oven for warmth, this can be extremely dangerous. Leaving the stove on for extended periods of time can result in a buildup of Carbon Monoxide (CO1). CO1 can be lethal if it is not properly vented. If you need an additional heating source, an electric space heater can be a temporary fix. Electric space heaters, unfortunately, are not cost effective heating source, costing 3 to 4 times more than natural gas to heat the same space.
If you're having issues with keeping consistent temperatures throughout your home, it might be time to upgrade or replace your insulation. The Department of Energy reports that having a properly insulated attic can shave up to 50% off your current heating and cooling costs while simultaneously making a home more comfortable. You should not be cold within your own home,
Call Allied today
And be comfortable this winter.