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Ways to protect your car and home this winter

Experts say "winterizing" your car and home before heavy snowfall and extreme temperatures, can save you lots of time and money in the future.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Frigid temperatures are swiftly making their way across Pennsylvania. With the potential for freezing rain, sleet and snow on the horizon, mechanics are urging drivers to be prepared.

Experts say drivers should consistently check fluids in their car. 

"Make sure your coolant is actually coolant and it's not just water. Water will keep it running, yes, but make sure you have proper antifreeze to keep it running," says Michael Rothgaber, a Harrisburg mechanic.

According to AAA, drivers should:

  • Make sure tires are inflated and have plenty to thread.
  • Keep an emergency roadside kit inside your car.
  • Keep at least half a tank of fuel in your vehicle at all times.
  • Check windshield wipers and batteries before it's too late.

"Most people think cold weather kills your batteries. It's not the cold that kills your batteries, it's the heat. You realize the cold kills your battery when you need that heat cranking to start it up in the winter," Rothgaber added.

As for homeowners, experts say their first task should be to take care of their heating system.

"Maintenance of the heating system can really be a proactive way to make sure it runs effectively and efficiently," says Aaron Becker, the owner of a heating and cooling company.

Other tips to make sure your home is ready:

  • Performing furnace maintenance.
  • Cleaning gutters.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector and frequently change batteries.
  • Bringing pets and plants inside.
  • Wrapping your outdoor pipes.

" As water freezes, [pipes] actually expand and can crack, which can cause significant damage," Becker added.

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