Winter is coming

Get your house and car ready

Fall has arrived. For some, that means colder temperatures and hazardous weather conditions are right around the corner. Winterizing your home and vehicle in the fall can help prepare you before winter hits. Here are some helpful tips to help you stay safe, warm and — possibly — a little less light in the pocketbook.

Tips for your home

Caulk the windows — One of the most effective ways to keep your house warm in the winter is to make sure heat doesn’t escape. Caulking your windows is an easy way to trap the heat, and it works for other areas like gaps in siding or drafty doors.

Cover and flush the water heater — Over time, sediment can collect in the bottom of your water heater. Flushing the water heater once a year not only cleans it from buildup but can also improve heating speeds, eliminate foul odor from stagnant water and reduce energy costs by cutting down on the time needed for the water to get hot.

Clean your gutters — Ensure water can easily pass through your gutters before colder, snowy weather arrives. Cleaning the gutters will also prevent ice blockage, which can keep icicles from forming.

Set or get a programmable thermostat — Program the thermostat to your schedule, such as keeping your home cooler during the day or while you’re not home, to help save money on your energy bill.

Tips for your car

Get it serviced — Before driving conditions turn less than ideal, it’s a good idea to take your car in for a checkup. Make sure the battery, brakes, belts, spark plugs, cooling and heating are all in good order.

Keep a winter safety kit handy — It’s a good idea to have jumper cables, a tire pressure gauge, a tire patch kit, blankets, a flashlight and a phone charger in your car in case of emergencies. Getting a flat or a dead battery in cold temperatures is never an ideal situation, but having some supplies on hand can help keep you stay safe and also save you time if you’re able to handle the situation yourself.

Keep the tank at least half full — Condensation can form in the gas tank in freezing temperatures, and the gas line may get blocked with ice. This can keep your car from starting, and in some cases, cause corrosion. Keeping your gas tank at least half full can help avoid condensation and keep your air pump cool, which means you can stay warm if you get stranded in the cold.

Replace your windshield wiper blades — It’s a good idea to replace your blades once or twice a year depending on where you live and the blades’ level of wear and tear. If you live in an area with harsh winters, you may want to consider heated blades, which can last longer in freezing temperatures.


Visit the HMConnection page to read more articles.

WBTL-0789 (Oct. 19)

© 2017 Horace Mann Educators Corporation

CUSTOMER SERVICE Call 800-999-1030

  • Auto and Property
    M – F, 7 a.m. - 8 p.m. Central time.
  • Life, Annuity and Group
    M – F, 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. Central time.