CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s a structural struggle.

Freezing pipes are a big problem when the temperatures are this low — for this long.

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Here are some ways to prevent your pipes from freezing throughout the winter months:

  • Drip your faucets: When temperatures drop below freezing, leaving your faucets to drip when you’re asleep or not home will help prevent a pipe from bursting. You waste a lot more water from a leaky, or gushing, pipe than you do from taking this precaution.
  • Keep warm air on the water pipes: If you have water pipes behind walls, they could freeze and burst. Keep your pipes exposed to warm air to reduce pipe freezing.
  • Stick a large pot or a bucket under the faucet that you’re dripping: You can use that water to flush the toilet or water plants, so it won’t go to waste!
  • Winterize your pipes: Turn the water off to your outside spigots and disconnect your garden hoses.
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Preventing burst pipes and leaks are your best bets when it comes to conserving water in the winter. On top of dripping your faucets, it’s also a good idea to make sure outdoor pipes, like the ones running to your backyard spigot, are wrapped. This way, when temperatures drop below freezing, they stay warmer than the air, and are less likely to develop leaks or burst.

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