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These easy-to-install faucet 'socks' help prevent frozen pipes — and they're just $5 a pop at Amazon

Avoid steep plumber bills this winter, thanks to these genius spigot covers.

This winter's been a cold one, and while the lower temps give us the opportunity to stay cozy indoors, they can also create some very costly problems; namely, frozen pipes. And if one of those babies burst, well, you're potentially looking at thousands of dollars in repairs, not to mention flood damage. One often overlooked cause of frozen pipes is not adequately prepping your outdoor spigots. Luckily, there's a super simple way to keep them insulated — these ArtiGifts Pro Outdoor Faucet Cover Socks. At $10 a pair at Amazon, this pack is a no-brainer. Get one before the next winter storm strikes!

Thousands of dollars in plumber bills, or 10 bucks to prevent frozen pipes? Hmm...

$10 at Amazon

There's nothing too sophisticated about the science: When outdoor faucets are left open, frigid air can make its way inside, and when the water inside your pipes freezes, it creates pressure that can be strong enough to cause ruptures. The result? A messy, and potentially very expensive, disaster.

frozen exterior faucet with icicles hanging from the end
An outdoor connection like this is super handy for summertime lawn-watering. Leaving one exposed in winter, though, can lead to you getting hosed. (Getty Images)

As a semi-new homeowner in the Northeast, I asked my local hardware store owner about the precautions I could take to winter-proof my home. He told me that, in addition to making sure my heat is always on (so as to keep interior pipes warm), I should also cover up any outdoor spigots. Oh, and if you'll be away from home for an extended period of time, it's smart to shut your water off; that way, even if your pipes do freeze, they'll be less likely to burst.

I went ahead and purchased a pair very similar to these waterproof faucet covers, and "installed" them as soon as I got home. When I say "install," I mean I stuck the sock over the spigot, tightened it using the drawstring and wrapped the cord around to secure it. Couldn't be easier! I appreciated that the cover was adjustable, since I was able to wrap it flush against the faucet and the side of my house, ensuring no air could get through.

Even with a slew of well-below-freezing days in a row, my pipes were fine, and I don't think I'll ever go another winter without these nifty insulators.

the blue faucet cover
This faucet cover is a breeze to slip on and creates a tight seal to protect pipes from winter's chill. (Amazon)

These faucet covers have brought relief to more than 8,000 Amazon reviewers.

"This boot covering for an outside faucet works great," raved one happy shopper. "No problem with frozen pipes this winter, even though temps were below freezing for a few days in a row. This will last so much longer than the cheap styrofoam/plastic covers I was using."

"Just had some temperatures in the low 20s with wind chills below zero," shared another content customer. "No frozen water spigots that I am aware of. These were easy to install on both the spigot coming out of the brick and the odd spigot coming out of the siding. The hard-type cover wouldn't go flush with the siding, which made me worry, but this one seals flush to the pipe, which I like. So far, so good."

"They’ve lasted two winters and [are] still in great condition," wrote a final fan. "Would buy again, just wish they came in different colors so we could have ones that blend into the siding color."

For a buck more, you can get 'em in blue!

$10 at Amazon

And while we're on the subject of unconventional winter warmers, how about these tire socks?

Unlike chains, these tire socks easily slip on and won't rust, but still improve traction so your car can navigate slippery roads more safely. 

"Got me out of a pinch today when a snowstorm hit," wrote a reviewer. "The amount of traction I received from these alone was phenomenal. My car stopped and handled 100% better. Took me not even five minutes to get them on the wheels."

$82 at Amazon

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The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.