With the midwinter nights getting longer and colder, one of the most delightful feelings during the chilly mornings and frozen evenings is to enjoy a hot shower with the help of accessible shower rooms.
However, one fear many people have during particularly bitter winters is the risk that they turn on the tap and no water runs.
Whilst people logically focus their attention most on the pipes in their attics, garages and outside, because they are often most vulnerable to the chilly weather, the bitter cold can also cause pipes inside the house to freeze.
A lack of water is bad enough in its own right, but due to the way water expands when it freezes, it can also cause pipes to burst, causing significant water damage that could require the help of an emergency plumber this winter season.
To avoid this, here are some top tips to keep pipes from freezing in the first place.
Insulate Your Pipes
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of repair, and in the case of insulation, preparing your pipes for the winter months can save you an absolute fortune. A few pounds worth of insulation can save you thousands on repair bills.
Prioritise loft, garage and outdoor pipes in your water system first, but also focus on the pipes around your toilet bowl and the pipes that connect to your shower or bath system, as well as pipes connected to water tanks if you do not have a combi-boiler.
There is no need, however, to insulate the pipe connecting your shower head.
Turn Up The Heat
In an era of austerity and rising energy prices, the temptation is to turn off the heating system entirely, but this is a false economy when the pipes burst. As well as this, it can increase your risk of illness and accentuate the effect of chronic pains.
If you can, it is worth turning up your thermostat a few degrees to ensure the pipes avoid freezing on days when the temperature dips far below zero.
At the very least, make sure that your thermostat is always on at least five degrees Celsius if you are not in the house to keep the heating on and circulated when you really need it. This will help you avoid a nasty surprise if you take any time away from your home this winter.
Let The Heat Circulate
Take a look at where your pipes are located, and open the doors or hatches to encourage warm air to circulate around.
This avoids the development of freezing cold spots in your home around your pipes, which could encourage freezing and cause entirely unwelcome surprises.
Listen For Warning Signs
Whilst sometimes it can happen without warning, there are telltale signs that a pipe is freezing or has already frozen.
These include gurgling sounds from your radiators or central heating system, a boiler that refuses to activate, reduced or non-existent water flow or a slow flushing toilet.