In the words of the Stark family, winter is coming. Depending on where you live, it may only be a matter of weeks before your car and home are subjected to ice, snow and subzero temperatures. However, preparing for the chilly months ahead doesnâ€™t have to send a chill through your bank account. These six tips from SelectQuote Auto & Home will help you winterize for less.
For Your Car
- Replace Your Fluids. Fluids are the lifeblood of your car. Your car’s oil should be thick, clean and fresh enough to protect your engine in the dead of winter. Itâ€™s also a good idea to change your oil and oil filter, regardless of mileage, as soon as the season begins. Your car’s coolant should be fresh and clean â€“ even a healthy engine can overheat in winter if not cooled properly. Old, stale fuel can be difficult to ignite in cold temperatures, so when it comes to gasoline, the fresher the better. The same goes for brake fluid.
- Change Your Wiper Blades. If you can’t clear snow and ice from your windshield, you wonâ€™t be able to see the road. If you can’t see the road, chances are you probably won’t be able to stay on it. The rubber on wiper blades ages quickly and tears easily when frozen, so itâ€™s a good idea to buy new blades every season. The more expensive blades usually clean better, so stick with name brands for longer-lasting and more efficient windshield wiping. Windshield-washer additives can also help prevent the buildup of water and snow.
- Test Your Battery. The cold winter months do a number on your carâ€™s battery. Low temperatures reduce a battery’s available cranking amperage, which limits its ability to start your engine. Cold engines are harder to turn over, and often require more cranking time to fire, which taxes your battery even further. Thatâ€™s why we recommend getting your battery professionally tested â€“ and if necessary, replaced â€“ before the season gets underway.
For Your Home
- Turn Down Your Water Heater. While the majority of conventional water heaters are set to 140 degrees Fahrenheit when theyâ€™re installed, most households don’t need that much steam. Lowering the temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (or less) can significantly reduce your heating costs â€“Â not to mention your chances of getting scalded in the shower!
- Install Storm Doors and Windows. Not only do storm doors and windows seal out drafts and reduce airflow, they can account for a substantial increase in energy efficiency. They also offer greater flexibility for letting light and ventilation enter your home. Just make sure theyâ€™re securely shut â€“ they wonâ€™t do you much good if you leave them in the â€œupâ€ position by mistake!
- Mind the Thermostat. When itâ€™s freezing outside, it’s easy to forget to turn down the heat when you leave your home. But for every degree that you lower the thermostat, youâ€™ll lower your heating bill, too. Take a minute before you leave the house to make sure you arenâ€™t unnecessarily heating an empty home. Programmable thermostats make it easy and can be found for as little as $50.
Hereâ€™s a bonus tip for saving money this winter: Go to SelectQuoteAutoAndHome.comÂ today. In addition to giving you unbiased advice about how much auto and home coverage you need, your personal agent will comparison shop 16 highly-rated insurance companies for your best price. To find out more, click here or call 1-888-236-8444.