Tips to keep your home safe & warm amid harsh winter conditions

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CHICAGO — As harsh winter weather continues to wreak havoc, now is no time for a homeowner’s furnace to go out.

Sam Franke, a repairman for Four Seasons Heating and Cooling, says with the unrelenting weather, he’s likely to respond to 6-8 calls a day, with some jobs taking up to three hours. It’s why he is offering residents some advice to ensure their home remains warm and cozy.

First, he suggests making sure your furnace filters are clean. 

“You’d be surprised. If it runs a lot, the filter can get very dirty and the furnace can tend to overheat very quickly,” he said.  

Another reminder: keep your blinds and curtains closed. 

 “That way you kind of keep the cold from coming in and you keep the heat in the house,” he said.  

Next, homeowners are urged to get an annual furnace checkup. 

“An annual maintenance is always very good, an annual checkup where you can avert problems a lot of the time if you have somebody check it out,” he adds. 

But if your furnace does break down, Franke suggests letting your faucets run on a slow drip to avoid frozen pipes. 

“That way, you keep the water circulating, so it doesn’t freeze because that could be very, very disastrous cause you could have leaking pipes all over your house,” he said.  

What about the accumulating snow on the roof? Chicago’s Building Commission says it’s important that you don’t try to clear it yourself.  

“It’s not safe to be going up on the roofs,” said Mathew Beaudet, Chicago Buildings commissioner. “Let nature take its course, the more heat you have inside the building the easier it’s going to be for the snow to come down and melt.” 

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