By WRCB Staff

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- With the freezing temperatures upon us, it can be tough on a home and its owner. Cold air can cause pipes to freeze and burst, potentially causing flooding and severe water damage.

However, taking a few simple steps can help prevent costly repairs, as well as save water and energy.  Tennessee American Water offers these recommendations:

Search for pipes that are not insulated, or that pass through unheated spaces such as crawlspaces, basements or garages.  Wrap them with pre-molded foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation, available at hardware stores.

Make sure the water to your hose bibs is shut off, and that lines are drained.

Nearly 15 percent of an average home energy bill goes to heating water. Wrapping your water heater in an insulation blanket can help reduce heat loss.

On cold night like we will be experiencing over the next few days, home owners can leave their faucets running a very small stream (about the size of a pencil lead) to keep the water flowing.  Also, open cabinet doors to expose pipes to heat.