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October 12, 2013

Time to winterize is now

(Continued)

One of the easiest ways to make sure that your car is ready for winter is to schedule a checkup appointment with a mechanic. To make sure your car is in good overall condition, Talbot said, you should make sure that the inspection includes having an oil change and a battery test.

“When the weather drops,” Talbot said, “it’s harder on the battery.” 

Winter weather can be daunting, but making sure your vehicle is in good overall condition can lessen the chances of getting stuck out in the cold and ensure that you always get home safely.

The home is another place where significant steps can and should be taken in order to ensure a safe winter for both new and veteran homeowners.

Frank Macak, a state-licensed home inspector at Prime Inspections in Franklin, suggests that the first thing you should do is clean outdoor gutters after the majority of autumn leaves have fallen. Before the first hard freeze, all exterior faucets should be drained and respective hoses should be disconnected, drained and put away for winter.

Macak said that many fires in the United States are caused by malfunctioning heat tapes. All de-icing heat tapes on roofs or eaves, and water pipe heat tapes, should be closely inspected for damage or wear.

The siding on your home should be checked thoroughly for holes, as well as any exterior door gaskets and seals for tightness, to prevent heat from escaping. If you have storm windows, make sure they work properly and are not damaged. Insulation in attics and basements should also be checked. 

“It is important to remember that most of the heat loss from the house is due to drafts,” Macak said.

Inside your house, there are many things that need to be taken into consideration, as well. Proper maintenance of your dryer is key to preventing fires year-round, but particularly in the winter. The dryer hookup should be checked for lint buildup, and the vent damper should be checked for proper operation.

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