MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The weather forecast doesn’t call for snow, but temperatures could dip below freezing Tuesday night. Cities along the Gulf Coast will experience temperatures in the 30’s Wednesday and Thursday morning, according to the WKRG News 5 First Alert Storm Team.

There is a Freeze Warning in place for most (except the immediate coastline) Wednesday morning until 8 a.m. Highs will reach just the mid 60s throughout the rest of the week, while we’ll warm up a bit into the weekend with highs expected to reach the mid 70s.

WKRG took a look at some cold weather tips to conserve energy and ensure your safety in your homes. News 5 also provided some tips and information in reference to frozen pipes in your home.

According to Alabama Power, it is the most energy efficient to set your thermostat at 68 degrees while you are not in your home. Making sure all windows and your garage are closed will keep the cold out and cuts costs as well. Doing something as simple as opening your blinds during the day to let natural sunlight in can save you money.

  • Close all louvers and vents in the attics
  • Check your water heater — According to Alabama Power, your water heater tank could “need a blanket” if it is warm to the touch. Placing a insulating blanket on your water heater can reduce heat loss by 25% to 45%.
  • Upgrade your heating and cooling system to a heat pump — Heat Pumps are the “most energy efficient and economical way to keep your home comfortable year-round.”
  • Rethink your fireplace — Fireplaces are “often a deterrent to energy efficiency because a lot of the heated air escapes up the chimney.”
  • Zone heat — Purchase electric space heaters that are thermostatically controlled and only keep them on in rooms your are in.
  • Use an electric blanket at night as it is “more economical” than heating the entire house all night.
  • Cover up cold feet — You are more sensitive to feeling cold when your toes are exposed. Consider wool socks.

Purchasing a smart thermostat is another way to conserve energy and money. The thermostat will “learn your habits and adjust accordingly.

With freezing temperatures, comes the potential for frozen pipes in your home. WKRG took a look at what steps you can take to ensure this does not happen.

According to American Red Cross, the water in your pipes expand as it freezes putting “tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes,” leading to the possibility of a burst pipe.

Pipes that freeze the most include:

  • Water supply pipes in unheated areas likes basements, attics or kitchen cabinets
  • Pipes that connect to outdoor hoses, swimming pool and water sprinkler lines
  • Pipes that run against exterior walls with little to no insulation

How to protect pipes from freezing

  • Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines. Do not put antifreeze on in these lines.
  • Remove, drain and store hoses used outside. Close inside valves. Keep outside valves open so that any remaining water in the pipe can drain out.
  • Add more insulation to attics and basements.
  • Newspaper can provide some insulation — “even 1/4 of an inch of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.”
  • Possibly move exposed pipes

How to thaw frozen pipes

  • First things first, if one pipe is frozen, there is likely others in your home frozen as well
  • If only a trickle of water comes out after your turn on a faucet, that is an indication of a frozen pipe
  • Keep your faucet on. Running water through the frozen pipe will help it melt
  • Use an electric heating pad wrapped around a pipe. An electric hair dryer or portable space heater can also work

There also steps you can take to ensure your plants outside stay healthy. WKRG took a look wat what steps you can take to keep your plants from freezing and dying.

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