WMDT 47 NEWS - It's time to start gearing up for the colder temperatures.
While breaking out the winter clothes may be the first thing to come to mind, some local experts are recommending that all homeowners and drivers take some important steps to save money, and even lives.
Roger Pearce, Service Manager of Magee Heating and Plumbing Company, says there is a lot to think about when it comes to winterizing a home.
"You have to think about the plumbing, the heating, and also the electrical system."
Pearce says many homeowners forget to take off their outdoor hoses for the winter season.
"You have to take those hoses off to allow the water to drain out of those anti-freeze hose bibs," says Pearce. "If you don't, those hose bibs will freeze and cause lots and lots of damage."
Another common mistake is letting the pipes freeze, which can lead to costly repairs. Pearce says many people think they can rely on the insulation around the pipes to prevent freezing, but that will not work. Instead, he suggests using heat tape.
"It will keep a light temperature on the pipes to keep it from freezing," says Pearce. "It's safe and it will shut itself down if it gets warmer outside."
When it comes to heating, Pearce says the best thing homeowners can do is change their filter, and keep leaves and debris from outside the unit. For furnace owners, he recommends taking all boxes, paints or solvents and storing them far away from the utility, and also getting periodic maintenance work.
"Sometimes the combustion on the furnace will be a little off and you'll never know because you have heat in the house, but sometimes it can be unsafe."
Even though the roads across Delmarva are still in good condition, car experts are urging drivers to winterize their vehicles as well.
David Bierman, President of Peninsula Total Auto Care, says that it is imperative for drivers to make sure their tires' air pressure is correct. In addition, they should not be outdated.
"If those tires are older than six years old they're definitely losing their pliability and they will be more slippery on the road."
Bierman also recommends that drivers have the right kind of antifreeze in their vehicles, and the proper windshield washer fluid.
"You want to have that changed to the winter mix as soon as you can or it's going to freeze up."
In addition, Bierman says it is very important that vehicles have the correct oil weight.
"The rate that the engine runs can actually be affected by the oil weight, and winter oil weights are sometimes different than summer weights now," says Bierman. "You're going to want to check that for your car."
Although the start of winter is still more than a month away, both Pearce and Bierman recommend homeowners and drivers start taking these precautions as soon as possible.
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