preparing for a Texas cold front

Preparing Your Home for a Texas Cold Front

  • Written By: Rebecca Bridges
  • Edited By: Kelly Bedrich

  • North and West Texas have their share of cold weather and even snow. But those on the Gulf Coast are less familiar with what to do when a Texas cold front is on the way. Here’s your checklist to prepare for below freezing weather in Texas.

    10 Tips to Prepare Your Home for a Texas Freeze

    Use this easy checklist to make sure your Texas home is ready for a winter cold front.

    1. Disconnect hoses and drain them.
    2. Cover outdoor spigots with faucet covers or freeze caps.
    3. Insulate pipes and faucets in unheated areas such as an attic or garage.
    4. If you have a sprinkler system, follow the winterization protocol from your manufacturer. This typically involved disconnecting the water or using a shut-off valve, then manually draining the water from your system. Once complete, set the timer to “off.”
    5. Mulch garden beds with 2-3 inches of mulch to protect plant roots. Move potted plants indoors.
    6. Set your thermostat to a minimum of 60° when outside temperatures are below freezing.
    7. Shut off your water at night and drain the water from your pipes before going to bed, then turn the water back on in the AM when temperatures rise above freezing. Alternately, drip your faucets during the coldest hours.
    8. Leave cabinet doors open under sinks to allow warm air to circulate around your pipes. Check for any gaps where the pipes penetrate your walls, and fill these gaps with spray foam. Or, use hand towels to plug these gaps.
    9. Check for air leaks. Look for gaps under your doors and either add a door sweep, or use towels and blankets to plug the gap temporarily.
    10. Replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector.

    Electricity Outages During Texas Cold Front

    All of us in Texas share a type of collective PTSD when it comes to a cold front.

    We think about Winter Storm Uri in 2021, when extended power outages across the state caused in death and property damage. Or we think of the freeze in December 2022, with pipes bursting in many homes.

    ERCOT works with generators, retailers, utilities and commercial/industrial customers to keep the lights on during times of high demand. There are multiple power sources to meet electricity demand, including wind, solar, batteries and coal and natural gas-fired power plants.

    However, ERCOT has identified that the riskiest time for a winter power outage is weekday mornings, 5am to 8:30am.

    Why? Amperon, a grid analytics company, explains:

    The early morning ramp-up will be a problem with little solar generation during those early, cold hours. If wind does not show up, there could be some major problems. Sunrise in Dallas is 7:31 AM local time, which makes 5:00 – 8:30 AM the most risky.


    The later sunrise is why ERCOT often asks consumers to conserve energy on winter mornings.

    Prepare for Risk of Winter Power Outage in Texas

    Here are a few ways you can prepare for the risk of a winter power outage in Texas:

    • Monitor ERCOT alerts by subscribing to their TXANS alert service or by following ERCOT on social media.
    • Charge portable chargers for your phones and other electronics.
    • If you have one, check your portable generator or whole home generator to confirm it’s operable.
    • Consider purchasing a portable propane heater that is indoor-safe.
    • Gather extra blankets and sweaters so they are accessible.
    • Purchase drinking water to have at home.
    • Have food on hand that you can make without electricity.
    • Find the city or county warming center closest to your home.

    If you live on the Texas Gulf Coast, you may already have a hurricane preparedness kit. Many of those same supplies can be used during a winter storm.

    Stay warm, friends!

    About Rebecca Bridges

    Rebecca Bridges has worked in deregulated energy markets since 2001. As chief marketing officer for ElectricityPlans, she focuses on helping consumers save on their electricity bills and find the best electricity plans. Outside of work, Rebecca uses her marketing experience to support dog rescue and can often be found hiking or biking local trails.

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