I was speaking with a friend of mine who had minor issues with his pipes freezing in really cold weather. He explained that added an electric coil to his pipes that he can plug in during freezing temperatures.
Some coils have automatic features that will turn on when the temperature reaches a certain point. However, if you want to have better control over the coil and automation, we thought of a solution.
What you'll need:
To set this up, make sure you are getting enough heat cable to cover the pipes you want to protect from freezing. Make sure that the heat is designed to heat the types of pipe you have. Follow instructions on package to install the heat cable to pipe.
Plug in smart plug and set it up VIA the instructions. Please note that you will likely need to install an app on your smartphone to help wirelessly control your outlet.
Now, if you have an Android phone, download the app IFTTT. If you have an iPhone, there are likely similar applications that will do the same thing. Experiment with the apps on this list.
IFTTT stands for If This Then That. This user friendly app will allow you to create little applets to run certain tasks under specific conditions. In this case, we will want to create an applet that turns on the smart outlet when temperature hits 20 degrees or lower. We will also want to create an applet that turns off the outlet when the temperature gets above 20 degrees.
The advantage of this set up over the automatic heat cables is that you can check your app to make sure the plug is on, no matter where you are. So, when you are on a Christmas cruise in the Bahamas and you see the weather is going to be in the negatives in Harrisonburg, you don't have to hope that your system is working. You will be able to open your outlet app to see if the outlet is turned on or off.
Furthermore, you have more control over the variables. Your crawlspace may not freeze at 32 degrees when you are actively using your house. However, if you are gone for a week with the thermostat turned low and the temperature stays consistently close to freezing, you may decide you need to heat the pipes a little sooner.