LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – With snowy roads and icy winds, many Arkansans are hunkering down indoors to avoid the winter weather. But with everyone at home cranking up the heat and running through chores, Entergy is asking customers to conserve energy or risk an outage.
According to Entergy, most outages Arkansas has seen this week have to do with high energy usage, not damage to powerlines. Brandi Hinkle with the energy provider has some tips on how you can cut down on your usage and protect your home at the same time.
“Go ahead and set your thermostat a few degrees lower, 68 or lower than that,” she said, as high heat could also lead to an increased energy bill down the road. Hinkle adds that the biggest risk for outages is using large appliances at peak times, which with everyone at home can now be anywhere from 7 am to 8 pm.
These include dishwashers, washers, and dryers. “See if you can put off that load of laundry,” Hinkle recommended or throwing your clothes in first thing in the morning.
You also need to know what to do if the power shuts off, starting with finding the breaker if it’s safe to do so.
To avoid a power surge when energy is restored, it’s best to turn off anything not in use, and turning them back on one at a time. “If you do lose power, what we want you to do is power off those large appliances,” said Hinkle. She also recommends reporting outages at 1-800-entergy or via their website, here.
The other major concern for homeowners is pipes. Freezing temperatures can cause issues for plumbers after bathroom and kitchen pipes freeze and burst. Veteran Rooter in North Little Rock recommends keeping your home warm in order to avoid busted pipes. “You don’t want your home to get lower than 55 degrees,” said Ryan B. with Veteran.
Arkansans also want to make sure warm air and heat can reach plumbing hidden under cabinets. “Inside,” Ryan added, “you’ll want to open up the cabinets under any faucets that are on the exterior wall or if you have a crawl space.”
If your pipes do freeze, Veteran says step number one is knowing how to turn off the water to your home, then breaking out household items like hair dryers to help re-heat pipes. “We’d also recommend slowly reheating the pipes with a space heater or hairdryer,” said Ryan.
Other tips include disconnecting outdoor hoses from hose bibs, and letting faucets drip cold water overnight to prevent freezing.
Ryan also mentioned how most leaks happen in the days following a freeze, as water starts to thaw and move again. It’s important to keep an eye out for drips later this week. You can learn more about Veteran Rooting through their Facebook page, HERE.