Grange Insurance Offers Tips to Winterize Homes

Grange Insurance Offers Tips to Keep Families Warm this Season

With the crisp chill of autumn now in full effect, homeowners must begin thinking about ways to prepare their homes for the colder weather that is still ahead.

That's why Columbus-based Grange Insurance has recommended some useful tips to help homeowners winterize their homes this season.

"Winter is only a few months away, so now is the time to start preparing your home for the cold temperatures," says Peter McMurtrie, chief claims officer for Grange Insurance. "With a little planning now, homeowners will find that battling the cold weather doesn't have to be a six-month struggle."

While planning for winter this fall, consider a furnace inspection before temperatures dip below freezing. Make sure your furnace is in tip-top shape to last for the duration of the winter months. By maintaining the upkeep of your furnace, homeowners can eliminate the possibility of faulty air circulation. For those using fireplaces, homeowners should ensure that chimney flumes are free of debris before using the fireplace for the first time. Additionally, chimney flumes should be cleaned and serviced at least once per year. And to keep the heat flowing properly through the furnace, McMurtrie suggests replacing the filters each month. Managing proper filters prevents harmful air particles from entering your home as warm air circulates.

Homeowners can take winter preparation a step further by also checking insulation quality around the entire house. It's easy for crevice cracks to go unnoticed when it's warm during the summer months. But, as temperatures begin to drop, McMurtrie says homeowners should consider investing in weatherstripping. This rubber material blocks cold air from creeping underneath doors and can help consumers save up to 15 percent in heating costs. By making sure all entry points are properly sealed, you can save money and keep the house warm.

"Winterizing your home goes beyond just making sure the heat works," McMurtrie says. "It's about getting the heat inside and keeping it inside."

Keeping the heat inside will help tackle another challenge during the winter months. Frozen pipes open opportunities for pipe damage, causing homeowners to deal with an unnecessary expense. But, according to McMurtrie, you can fight off the freeze by keeping a few things in mind before the cold hits your home. He recommends draining all air conditioning pipes and outside garden hoses before the weather gets too cold. Also while outside, any exposed plumbing pipes should be insulated to prevent freezing. Finally, the furnace should remain on once freezing temperatures are present. Even if you've left for a winter vacation, McMurtrie says the thermostat should never drop below 55 degrees.

"Overall, keeping your home safe and calm during the winter months doesn't have to cause a lot of stress or break the bank," McMurtrie says. "The most important thing in any type of winter planning is keeping up with the little things. If you've done that, the challenge of surviving the winter season won't seem challenging at all."


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