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Tips On Keeping Your House Warm This Winter

CHICAGO (CBS) – With major snow in the forecast expected to start later Saturday and temperatures dropping to single-digits next week, Chicagoans are going to have a tough time keeping warm.

CBS 2's Derrick Young has some tips on how to stop the cold from creeping into your home.

As bitter cold temperatures approach, it's time to think about ways to keep the house warm, and that starts with the furnace, said David Schwager, of QBR Services.

"First of all, you want to walk up to your dehumidifier and switch it from summer setting down to winter setting," Schwager said. "You're going to pop open your furnace, take a look at your furnace filter, remove it and make sure it's clean."

If you are tempted to store things in the space around your furnace, think about this…

"This is an area that gets extremely hot," Schwager said. "For example, this is a louvered door that allows air to come through the system. You want to make sure there are no closed or sealed doors in front of it. And you want to keep any kind of debris away from your furnace."

Filter replacement is best in the winter because there is a lot more dust, according to Schwager.

For windows, he said, cord caulk is good for small gaps, but foam window seal might be necessary for bigger seams.

"If these don't work, because maybe you have a big window like this one," Schwager said. "There is always the window insulation kit."

Schwager also recommends professional fireplace inspections. Once inspected, creosote logs are an easy way to keep deposits from building up in your chimney.

"One night you're there, throw it in, light it on fire," Schwager said. "It'll take a couple hours to burn off and you'll be great."

Light switch and outlet sealers also help block cold air from coming in from exterior walls – so those are also an option.

It is also important to keep your pets safe in these temperatures. It is not just the cold, salt and other chemicals used to melt snow can irritate your pets' paws.

The Red Cross makes staying prepared easy. You can download a free app offering tips to protect your furry family members.

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