Tips to Prepare Vehicles and Homes for Winter Season

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Now that we've seen the first flurries of the winter season and there are more freezing temps on the way, it's time to get your house ready for the frigid season.  

The United States Department of Energy has a lot of helpful tips for the season:

  • When it gets really cold its important to keep the faucet dripping so that the pipes don't freeze.
  • Clean out the gutters to help prevent ice dams that could cause leaks and water damage.
  • Taking care of any cracks you find to keep warm air in.
  • Get your furnace checked and change the filter more often. Dirty filters decrease air flow.

"For most people your furnace is the number one heat source in your home, so making sure you've got your routine maintenance done on that. Really small things like replacing furnace filters, detaching the hose from the outside of your house, are going to help prevent freezing water and freezing pipes within there." Adam Rich with Nationwide Insurance said.

Rich said one of the most common issues they see in the insurance business happens when people are gone for the holidays.

"With the holidays happening and people traveling to be with their friends and family, the last thing you want to worry about is your home and having something going on. From an insurance stand point frozen pipes and burst pipes are something that we see a lot from an insurance perspective. So the more in tune to your home you are, the more aware of those small things you can do, the better prepared you're going to be when winter comes," Rich said.

Rich added, it's important to get your car ready for the winter too because a high percentage of accidents happen due to winter related issues and distracted driving.

"Checking your tires and getting regular maintenance done on your vehicle is very important. There are also lots of new safety features on newer cars that help as well, like automatic breaking and lane detection," Rich said.

Nationwide also has more tips on their website.