LESLIE: Doug in Rhode Island is dealing with some frozen pipes. How can we help? What’s going on ?
DOUG: We have a summer home which, for the first time, is going to be unoccupied for the winter and the winters get pretty cold here in New England. And I was wondering what your thoughts were on filling the forced hot water pipes with an antifreeze and shutting down the oil so that we do not have to keep the house heated for the winter. I didn’t know if that would be a good thing or a bad thing.
TOM: Well, you typically wouldn’t fill the heating system pipes with antifreeze. You typically drain the entire heating system and blow it out with a compressor so you don’t have any water in it.
LESLIE: Similar to like your sprinklers outside, correct?
TOM: Yeah, pretty much. Yeah, you would drain the whole system.
Now, with the toilets, sometimes you will find that when folks winterize a house they will put a bit of antifreeze in the toilets just so that it gets into the traps or the places that you can’t drain as easily.
TOM: But for the most part, if you’re going to winterize a house it’s usually drained down.
DOUG: OK. And kind of a follow-up question. If I decide to heat the house, what is the lowest temperature that I could put it down to, to conserve the oil, as opposed to blowing out the pipes?
TOM: The concern would be letting it get too cold and if you do that you’re going to have a lot of condensation and that’s going to cause house problems. So I wouldn’t go much below around 62, 63 degrees.
DOUG: OK. Fantastic. Well, I do appreciate your help and we’ll take care of that.
TOM: Alright, Doug. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.