BEND, Ore. - While the ODOT crew in Bend is prepped and ready for the outdoors, what are you doing to prepare inside?
"Vent plugs are in, faucet spigots are covered. It's the time of year for those things," Bend shopper Linda Farlow said Monday.
At the Ace Hardware store in Bend, staff members are busy stocking up on all the cold-weather essentials.
"There's a lot of last-minute reactivity to the weather sometimes, instead of planning," said Assistant Manager Kenny Crain.
But planning can pay off.
"For example, a water heater blanket helps keep the water so hot, so it's not having to cycle on and off as much," Crain said.
An electrical socket cover, a foam pipe cover and even a kit to cover your windows can all help keep the cold draft out.
"Making sure all the air in the house is compartmentalized, so there's no flow of cold air coming in or out," Crain said.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts more than 90 percent of U.S. homes will see higher bills this winter than last winter.
But some basic steps to winterize your home can at least put a dent in the bill.
There are certain things you can do to protect your home against the cold without paying a pretty penny. Towels, some pants or a sweatshirt rolled up or stuffed with un-popped popcorn can be pressed against a door crack to keep out cold air.
Also, many ceiling fans have a switch on them, reversing the direction of the blades. That will force warm air near the ceiling out toward the walls. Pushing furniture like bookcases against the outside walls can have an insulating effect. And hanging a quilt or thick curtains over your windows can help keep cold air out.
It's better to do these things now, to conquer the cold.
"It'd better to be prepared before the rush," Crain said.
"It's just like hanging the Christmas lights --sooner is better than later," Farlow said.