Monday, November 16, 2009

Battle the Winter Winds by Winterizing Your Home

grange insurance

Grange Insurance Offers Tips to Keep Families Warm this Season

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Nov. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- With the crisp chill of autumn now in
full effect, homeowners must begin thinking about ways to prepare their homes
for the colder weather that is still ahead.

That's why Columbus-based Grange Insurance has recommended some useful tips to
help homeowners winterize their homes this season.

"Winter is only a few months away, so now is the time to start preparing your
home for the cold temperatures," says Peter McMurtrie, chief claims officer
for Grange Insurance. "With a little planning now, homeowners will find that
battling the cold weather doesn't have to be a six-month struggle."

While planning for winter this fall, consider a furnace inspection before
temperatures dip below freezing. Make sure your furnace is in tip-top shape to
last for the duration of the winter months. By maintaining the upkeep of your
furnace, homeowners can eliminate the possibility of faulty air circulation.
For those using fireplaces, homeowners should ensure that chimney flumes are
free of debris before using the fireplace for the first time. Additionally,
chimney flumes should be cleaned and serviced at least once per year. And to
keep the heat flowing properly through the furnace, McMurtrie suggests
replacing the filters each month. Managing proper filters prevents harmful air
particles from entering your home as warm air circulates.

Homeowners can take winter preparation a step further by also checking
insulation quality around the entire house. It's easy for crevice cracks to go
unnoticed when it's warm during the summer months. But, as temperatures begin
to drop, McMurtrie says homeowners should consider investing in
weatherstripping. This rubber material blocks cold air from creeping
underneath doors and can help consumers save up to 15 percent in heating
costs. By making sure all entry points are properly sealed, you can save money
and keep the house warm.

"Winterizing your home goes beyond just making sure the heat works," McMurtrie
says. "It's about getting the heat inside and keeping it inside."

Keeping the heat inside will help tackle another challenge during the winter
months. Frozen pipes open opportunities for pipe damage, causing homeowners to
deal with an unnecessary expense. But, according to McMurtrie, you can fight
off the freeze by keeping a few things in mind before the cold hits your home.
He recommends draining all air conditioning pipes and outside garden hoses
before the weather gets too cold. Also while outside, any exposed plumbing
pipes should be insulated to prevent freezing. Finally, the furnace should
remain on once freezing temperatures are present. Even if you've left for a
winter vacation, McMurtrie says the thermostat should never drop below 55

"Overall, keeping your home safe and calm during the winter months doesn't
have to cause a lot of stress or break the bank," McMurtrie says. "The most
important thing in any type of winter planning is keeping up with the little
things. If you've done that, the challenge of surviving the winter season
won't seem challenging at all."

About Grange Insurance
Grange Insurance, with $2 billion in assets and $1.3 billion in annual
revenue, is an insurance provider based in Columbus, Ohio. Through its network
of independent agents, Grange offers auto, home, life and business insurance
protection. Established in 1935, the company and its affiliates serve
policyholders in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan,
Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and
Wisconsin. For more information, visit