LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The bitter cold means extra layers for people outdoors, but we asked area experts for some other lesser known tips that can help when the mercury drops.

Tip #1: Check your car battery

“When it’s cold out, we don’t want to move as fast,” said Kevin Roppel with Roppel Industries, Inc.

The same is true for cars. Roppel says cold weather can cause trouble for batteries that work well under normal conditions.

Roppel says most mechanics can use a gadget, free of charge, to check the car’s battery output. That number is then compared to the ‘cold cranking amp’ -- or CCA -- which is the amount of juice required to start the car in the cold.

If the battery is at 75 percent or below, Roppel says there will likely be a problem. If that number is below 50 percent, he says it almost certainly isn’t going anyway.

Tip #2: Leave water running to prevent freezing and busted pipes

“Running water is harder to freeze than standing water,” said Richard Stemler with Stemler Plumbing.

When the temperatures drop below freezing, Stemler says it’s important to leave a faucet running to prevent frozen pipes that could eventually burst. He suggests using the faucet in the bathtub and says the stream should be the size of a pencil.

“You’re gonna need to let it run until the weather gets above freezing -- 34, 35,” said Stemler.

It might add to the water bill, but Stemler says it’s a fraction of the cost to clean up after broken pipes.

Tip #3: Seal up any leaky, drafty areas

Whether you live in a home, an apartment, or other dwelling, LG&E spokeswoman, Natasha Collins says people should check their doors, windows, and ducts for any spaces that could leave their heater working overtime.

“If you feel like there’s some air coming in any of those places, make sure you take some caulk, spray foam, or weather stripping to seal them up with the goal of keeping the cold air out and the warm air in,” said Collins.

Collins says closing the spaces will likely mean a lower energy bill and more comfortable conditions on cold winter nights.

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