After our recent snow it seemed a little like a giant winter wonderland. Looking out your window, you can either think: “Oh, look how beautiful it is outside!” or “I’m never leaving the house again.” Whichever side you take, everyone can agree that winter can cause serious damage to your wallet in order to properly weatherize your life.
As the cold weather begins to sweep across the Quad Cities, BBB offers tips to safely prepare. Properly winterizing your home and vehicle may help you to save money in the long run. Simple steps like furnace filter changes and routine vehicle maintenance are important. With frigid temperatures upon us, the last thing you need is a faulty heating system, frozen pipes, an unreliable vehicle or a damaged home. Better Business Bureau has some tips to help.
Hire reliable heating/plumbing company
• Do research. Check business background experience and qualifications. BBB Business Profiles supply details on the business, including complaints and reviews. Be sure the business is properly licensed and insured.
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• Get everything in writing. Make sure the cost is within your budget and that all verbal promises are also documented. Read the contract thoroughly and ask questions before signing. Compare bids and job scope.
• Understand the warranty. If the business offers a warranty, make sure you read and understand what is covered and for how long. Register a manufacturer warranty as needed and make sure to understand the claim process.
• If a pipe bursts, immediate attention by a plumber is crucial. A plumber can help you locate the problem, thaw out your pipes and insulate against future freezing.
Get your vehicle ready for the conditions
• Replace or refill all fluids. Check levels including the coolant, oil, and washer fluid. Your coolant must have the correct antifreeze/water levels to prevent radiator freezing.
• Inspect or switch your tires. Make sure to check that your tires have good tire pressure and tread.
• Check your battery. A battery can lose power in the winter due to the cold temperatures and oil can thicken making it difficult for your vehicle to turn over.
• Protect car from ice, salt. Dirt and salt can have huge impacts on your paint job and floors. Washing and waxing your car regularly can undermine the effects of dirt and salt and deter rust from forming.
Go to bbb.org to access the BBB free Business Profiles or call 515-243-8137 for assistance.