Helpful tips to prep your home during cold spell

Also remember to donate unused winter gear to those without homes

Icicles on a house, file. (Andrew Writer via Flickr Creative Commons)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With temperatures expected to dip below freezing overnight, and with strong winds blowing through the region, many homeowners are taking steps to ensure they stay warm.

One thing you may want to do is plug in your cellphone as soon as you can, just in case there are any power outages. Charge up those extra battery packs or charging cases so you’re not without your phone, clock or flashlight if you lose power.

A Roth Heating & Cooling technician told KOIN 6 News he received dozens of calls Monday from homeowners who aren’t getting heat. He said one big way to prevent going without heat is to replace your paper furnace filter.

Roth Heating & Cooling technician Jared Matchnif said he received dozens of calls Monday from homeowners who aren't getting heat, January 3, 2017. (KOIN)
Roth Heating & Cooling technician Jared Matchnif said he received dozens of calls Monday from homeowners who aren’t getting heat, January 3, 2017. (KOIN)

If you have an electronic air cleaner, making sure the filter is clean will help protect your furnace.  You can clean it by turning off the power, removing and rinsing it and drying it thoroughly before putting it back in.

“If you’re not able to transfer heat out of the system it can overheat and trip safety switches or destroy components,” Jared Matchnif with Roth Heating said.

It might be helfpul to replace the batteries in your thermostat, just in case they’re low.

Anyone using portable space heaters should make sure they have auto shut off capabilities in case they tip over. Keep them 3 feet away from furniture and bedding curtains, and turn them off or unplug them before going to sleep or leaving home.

You can open cabinets under sinks in your home to let warm air in. Running just a slight amount of water from faucets can help keep pipes from freezing and breaking.

Many people who don’t have homes this winter are struggling to keep warm. If you have extra winter tents, sleeping bags or other winter gear to donate, click here.