In an unoccupied home or vacant vacation cottage, a freezing pipe that bursts can destroy faucets and plumbing and spray gallons of icy water on furniture, floors and walls. Investing in a freeze alarm is one of the most effective and inexpensive ways for homeowners to get warnings if the indoor temperature drops unexpectedly. There are many other places, in addition to homes, where temperature stability is critical and a freeze alarm can be useful for low temperature alerts. Here are a few scenarios that may apply to you:
Whether you have a hobby farm with pet goats or a farming business with valuable livestock, protecting animals, plumbing and supplies from freezing temperatures is vital. An advanced freeze alarm, such as the Sensaphone 400 with adjustable temperature set-points, power outage notification, remote programming and the ability to call in to hear current temperature, is a very good choice for barns. In a remote barn with no landline phone, a cellular terminal can be used for communications.
Outdoor Hot Tubs and Spas
Freeze damage to a hot tub or spa is a costly repair. If you plan to use your tub or spa during the winter, follow the manufacturer’s cold weather operating instructions and be sure to check the water temperature at least once a day to make sure the heater is functioning properly. To monitor water temperature in the hot tub without having to go outside, set up a remote digital thermometer with a low temperature alarm. Try LaCrosse Technology’s Online Temperature and Humidity Wireless Alert System (with a wet probe) – it transmits temperature readings wirelessly to your computer and notifies you via e-mail or text message if the temperature of the water drops too low.
The temperature inside an unheated, detached garage can get mighty cold in the wintertime. Many business owners and homeowners use garages to store temperature-sensitive supplies and equipment and rely on portable heaters to combat sub-zero weather. This approach usually works fine until the heater trips the circuit breaker or there’s a power outage. Even refrigerators and freezers housed in unheated garages are affected by the cold, especially newer, energy-efficient models. If the garage temperature drops below the operating minimum, the compressor might not turn on and food in the freezer may spoil.
The solution is a wireless temperature sensor / freeze alarm and phone dialer, like the one made by Skylink, that sends alarm alerts to up to nine emergency phone numbers. To receive alerts inside your home that there’s a power outage where your garage refrigerator or freezer is plugged in, use the Refrigerator/Freezer Power Outage Alert Set that notifies you when that outlet loses power.
Regardless of whether you’re running a large commercial growing operation or have a small backyard greenhouse, keeping your plants alive and healthy requires the best possible growing environment, making a freeze alarm a must-have piece of equipment for temperature control in the winter months. Like the barn application, you’ll want an advanced freeze alarm for your greenhouse. For commercial greenhouses, the Sensaphone 400 is recommended. The affordably-priced Deluxe Freeze Alarm is a good pick for home greenhouses. If there’s no landline phone connection in the greenhouse, choose the Sensaphone 682 with a built-in cellular dialer. Or, simply add a cellular terminal and hook up the freeze alarm of your choice.
An apartment in a multi-family building is just as vulnerable to damage from freezing pipes as a stand-alone house. If you plan to leave your apartment or condo unoccupied for any length of time this winter, installing a freeze alarm is a good precaution. For under $100, you can get a fixed-temperature freeze alarm that will send out phone alerts when the temperature is approaching the danger level (usually around 40 to 45o F). Some models, like the PhoneAlert Power Failure, Freeze, & Flood Monitor, automatically call up to three phone numbers when there is a threat of freezing temperatures or a power outage. This freeze alarm can also monitor for water leakage and flooding.
Many freeze alarms are multi-functional and can do more than just monitor for low temperatures. Some models let you hook up sensors to monitor for flooding as well motion sensors to protect against break-ins. For a comprehensive look at a variety of freeze alarms and their features, go to the Freeze Alarms Comparison Chart on the diycontrols.com website.