Experts: Make sure your home and car are winter-ready - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Experts: Make sure your home and car are winter-ready

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

With the bitter cold setting in across Central Virginia, experts say now is the time to make sure your home and car are protected this winter. Knowing what to do in advance of the cold can help save you money down the road.

It's the little things that matter most, such as lifting up your windshield wipers before they freeze. Once they do, they may not work at all. Then, there's everyday maintenance that's especially important when it's cold.

"The last thing you want to do is come to your car one morning on the way to work and have your car not start or your heat not work," said Billy Allen of Allen Tire.

So he's putting drivers on notice - take care of your car, so it can take care of you.

"The biggest problem we see is dead batteries this time of year," he said.

That's because the cold takes a toll on your battery. Check it regularly as well as your anti-freeze levels.

While you're at it, make sure your home is also protected.

"Heating and cooling make up half your utility costs," said Curtis Turner of Home Depot.

So making sure your home is properly insulated, he says, can actually save you some $200 on your utility bill.

"If you've got some windows that you walk by and you notice there's a breeze and you let that go all winter, that could cost you money in the long run," Turner said.

He recommends insulating any cracks in your home.

"Keep the heat in. Keep the cold out," he said.

Also remember, covering your pipes and allowing a faucet to trickle can prevent pipes from freezing.

Experts say you don't need to call on the pros. This is maintenance you can do on your own. Another thing to keep in mind, make sure your home air filter is up to date. It should be changed every 90 days to make sure your heating system works properly.

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