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Autos, Homes Need Protection Against Harsh Winter Conditions

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Suzanne Le Mignot Suzanne Le Mignot
Suzanne Le Mignot serves as CBS 2 Chicago’s general assignment...
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(CBS) – Be prepare for prolonged subzero temperatures. Better yet, make sure your automobile and home are prepared.

CBS 2’s Suzannne Le Mignot talks with experts on how to keep them running smoothly.

In below-zero temperatures, maintaining your car is a priority.

“Make sure you have a good, strong battery,” Jack Gordon of Ashland Tire & Auto Clinic says.

He also recommends keep windshield wiper fluid filled.

“That salt hits that window, it dries up and you can’t see,” Gordon says.

While you’re at it, make sure you check the air pressure in your tires.

“Usually, they leak around the rim, and once they start leaking around the rim that’s when you wake up with a flat tire in the morning when it’s cold,” Gordon says.

For motorists concerned about all the grime and salt on their autos, Gordon advises against washing them. Water could get into door seams or locks and freeze them, he warns.

Another thing to remember: Have a full tank of gas in this weather. You don’t want your gas to freeze and you want to stay warm in your car, if you’re stranded with a flat tire.

Meanwhile, an expert from Home Comfort says house-service calls explode when the temperature drops. There are easy things you can do to get your furnace and pipes cold-weather ready.

Mark Havlik says having a clean filter is of major importance. He recommends changing it every three or four months.

Another tip: Change the batteries in your thermostat.

“A lot of folks don’t realize there are batteries in the thermostat and if you change them,  sometimes you can save yourself a service call,” Havlik says.

Then there are water pipes, which can freeze.

Paul Fredericy of Power Plumbing advises keeping a trickle of lukewarm water -– a combination of hot and cold water –- running.

“You only want to do this if you’re at home, where you can monitor it,” he says.

And you keep those cabinets open to create warm air flow on the pipes.

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