Prepping your home and car for cold weather

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GREENSBORO, N.C. --- With temperatures expected to drop in lower twenties and teens over the next two days, it's important to winterize your home and car in order to prevent headaches and save money.

Brandon Fisher works with William's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning in Greensboro. He spent Monday morning checking one customer's HVAC unit to make sure it was in good shape for cold weather.

"This is just a preventative maintenance check we'll do with customers to make sure everything is in working order and that we don't see anything that would be a major problem in the cold," he explained.

He pointed out foundation vents around the base of the house he was checking. "These vents here need to be closed. Just keeping these open and closed in the different seasons will make a huge difference."

Next on Fisher's list? Unhook hoses.

"I noticed people in the warm weather last week watering their lawns and washing their cars," Fisher said. "But the worst thing a homeowner can do is leave their hose pipe hooked up to their faucet. The water in there freezes, the pressure builds up and actually pops the faucet."

Insulating pipes and walls, he adds, can also save homeowners a lot of money.

Tim Bridges at Greensboro Tire and Auto says they've been very busy this winter. "The cold weather is bringing a lot of cars in with battery issues, air pressure issues and coolant issues."

Bridges reminds car owners you can check your air pressure, washer fluids and antifreeze levels on your own. He suggests bringing your car to a mechanic for a check-up if you notice any issues with the heating system.

Bridges' Head Technician George Neste explained, "There's a line on this antifreeze jug that says full. You want to put it up to that level, then put the cap on securely, make sure it's tight."

Neste pointed out in cold weather, tire air pressure can drop several psi per month. "It just amplifies the chance of you having an issue with controlling [your vehicle]. You gotta be able to control it in order to be safe."

They all say the bottom line is to check for major problems now so you won't have to pay more later.

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