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Extreme cold weather can be tough on homes

Icicles on a house can be dangerous.
Posted at 5:23 PM, Jan 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-26 21:05:34-05

As Wisconsin settles into an uncomfortable deep freeze for several days the elements can take a toll on your home.

"It's one thing if you get a cold snap like this for a day or two, but when you're going to get it for a week or two straight there's going to be a lot of furnaces that are going to be breaking down," said Jeff Goff, Service Manager with D and M Heating and Air Conditioning in Milwaukee.

Goff said doing a few little things can prevent a big headache in the future.

For one, check on your air filters.

"If your filter's like this or even remotely dirty because it's running nonstop and it can't push the heat through the house you're going to get high gas bills and potential service calls," said Goff.

To keep your furnace going check the batteries in your thermostat.

"Make sure your batteries are good because if your battery dies on your thermostat the furnace will not come on," said Goff.

You should also shut off your water hose from the inside of your home. Insulators may not be enough in the extremely cold temperatures.

"And preferably open your drain on the outside to let any excess water in there because I have seen it before where it will freeze and it can burst the pipes on the inside," Goff advised.

If you have a high efficient furnace you will want to make sure the vent pipes outside are clear of frost.

"In these cold arctic temperatures it's really hard to determine if your house is going to be able to sustain it until it happens," said Assistant Manager Todd Kessler at Lowe's in Wauwatosa. Kessler said they have seen more customers come in this week to brace for the snow and extreme cold.

In these arctic conditions Kessler said rock salt will not do much for your sidewalks and driveways. Instead ice melt or sand is a better option.

When it comes to your pipes and windows insulation can make a difference between busted pipes and keeping a draft out of your home.

While you look out for your home Kessler said the most important thing is to dress for the elements before you do any work outdoors.