Details for RURAL INSURANCE / KAREN BOARDMAN AGENCY - Ad from 2020-01-19

SIX WINTER HOME MAINTENANCE TIPS
FROM YOUR
RURAL INSURANCE AGENTS

Following seasonal home maintenance tips helps your home maintain and improve its condition as
well as value. Before the bitter cold hits, follow these winter home maintenance tips to keep your
home and loved ones safe this upcoming Wisconsin winter.
1. Check your furnace prior to the first cold spell
Inspect and change your furnace filter per manufacturing recommendations. Also, consider the age
and condition of your furnace. Modern heating systems can reach efficiencies as high as 98.5%,
opposed to older furnaces which operate at 56% to 70% efficiency, according to the Department of
Energy. Upgrading your heating system could reduce your energy
bill significantly.
Make sure your home equipment like your furnace are protected from loss with equipment breakdown
coverage.
2. Inspect your wood and gas fireplace
Aside from a heat source, fireplaces add a cozy feeling to the cold winter days but before your first
fire of the season, make sure to give your fireplace a thorough inspection to mitigate risks. Over time,
soot and creosote can build up in your home’s chimney, increasing the risk of a fire. The National
Fire Protection Association reports that 28% of home heating fires could be attributed to a failure to
clean chimneys. Follow these fireplace safety tips this winter and consider calling a certified chimney
sweep who will clean the fireplace, firebox, liners, flue and
chimney to remove flammable debris.
If you have a gas fireplace, the pilot lights should be relit
according to manufacturer instructions. Gas fireplaces
should also be cleaned and inspected by a qualified
service technician.
3. Check your smoke detectors and carbon
monoxide detectors
Proper ventilation is especially important in the winter
months when you are using the furnace and fireplace. It’s
important to check the batteries in your smoke detector
and carbon monoxide detectors routinely. Protect yourself
from carbon monoxide poisoning with these safety tips.
4. Get your snow removal equipment ready
It’s Wisconsin, the now is coming (or already here). Make
sure your shovel and snowblower are easily accessible.
It’s important to keep sidewalks clear of snow and ice to
prevent slips and falls, especially if you live in a high
traffic neighborhood.
When the heavy snow loads come, you’ll want to be
prepared to keep your roof clear of snow weight to avoid a
roof collapse.
5. Prevent your pipes from freezing
Don’t turn the heat below 55 degrees in your house. In the cold winter months, pipes can freeze easily
if they’re not properly insulated. To prevent frozen pipes, insulate pipes near windows, doors and in
areas of your home that are unheated.
6. Review your home protection
With winter comes the end of another year. Take the time to review your home insurance each year
with your agent to make sure you are properly protected. Learn what exactly is covered under a home
insurance policy and what can affect your home insurance rates as you review.
As you look at protection for your home, it’s important to ask yourself “What would it cost to replace
everything and build new today?” All homeowners should know the difference between replacement
cost and actual cash value.
For more home maintenance tips, contact your local Rural Mutual Insurance agent.
Stay warm Wisconsin!

www.ruralmutual.com/agent

Premiums Paid here, stay here
to keeP Wisconsin strong.

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