Preparing for Northern Nevada's Cold Cold Winter - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Preparing for Northern Nevada's Cold Cold Winter

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Chances are you have already turned on your furnace for the first time this season, but there's more to it than that. Like any other appliance, it needs a little tune up. When? Right now. At the south Reno Home Depot, Jim Steelman told us, "You want to check for the dust inside because it's been sitting all year round."

Jim says to get your furnace ready for the deep freeze, "dust" your furnace: "You want to dust the blower mechanism inside. Some of them require oil, so you want to oil the bearings as well to keep it from squeaking."

And to keep it clean, replace its air filter…he says every 3 months. Or you can save even more with the washable, reusable filters for sale. You may also want a humidifier to keep moisture in the air. Home Depot tells me these are hot sellers this time of year…many newcomers are just not used to our dry winter air.

As for the biggest way to save money on home heating, Home Depot's David Slater is a fan of the programmable's the way not to pay while you're away. And there's something new on the rack to save you even more: a thermostat that hooks up to the internet, or your cellphone. As Slater showed us, "You can be on your way home and say, 'Oh I want my house to be at 75 degrees or 70 degrees', whatever you like it at. This way, the heater's only going when you're home. You should see a big break on your power bill."

Another big penny saver is weather stripping. That's changed too…there are many more types to choose from. And the caulk gun, a true weapon against high heating bills that quickly pays for itself. Jim Steelman says, "Just start caulking around your windows, around your doors to keep that cold draft from coming in your house during the wintertime."

And a Reno winter isn't complete without some pipe bursting. It happens a lot here, with a high dollar cost. David Slater says "It can be thousands." He sees it happen every year here. "Oh yeah, people aren't prepared for their pipes to burst. No one wants that to happen."

What to do now? Wrap, or cover them. He says, "I would recommend doing it on all your exterior pipes for sure, and any pipes in the garage that could get close to freezing temperatures."

Freezing temperatures...there'll be plenty of those.

-written by John Potter

We have a long list of energy saving tips from NV Energy here:

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