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Avoid problems by winterizing your home, Owen official says

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Rick Morgan, Owen County emergency management director, would like to remind residents to take the time now to get your home ready for the winter season by following these tips:
• Have your heating system checked by a professional annually.  This will ensure that your system is working safely and efficiently which, in turn, will save you money.  If you heat by wood, clean your fireplace or stove.
• Have your chimney flue checked for any buildup of creosote and then cleaned to lessen the risk of fire.
• Make sure your home is properly insulated. If necessary, insulate walls and attic. This will help you to conserve energy and reduce your home’s power demands for heat. Caulk and weather-strip doors and windowsills to keep cold air out. Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside. This will provide an extra layer of insulation, keeping more cold air out.  Inspect and flush your water heater.
• Clean gutters.  Leaves and other debris will hamper drainage.
• Replace batteries of smoke, heat and carbon monoxide detectors. If you did not do it when you set the clocks back, do it now.  
• To keep pipes from freezing, wrap pipes in insulation or layers of old newspapers. Cover the newspapers with plastic to keep out moisture. Let faucets drip a little to avoid freezing and know how to shut off water valves.