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Prepare Your Home for the Winter Months

Prepare Your Home for the Winter Months

Any season of the year is the right time to prepare your home for the cold winter months, but fall is the most popular time to get things ready. Most projects are easier to complete when the weather is mild. Here is a list of winter preparation projects that will make your home cozy and comfortable when the cold winds and snow arrive.

Outdoor Projects

It's important to prepare the outside of your home and your yard before winter arrives. Look over the following tips and see which ones you need to do.

• Trim all broken or dead tree branches that could be blown down during a storm and cause damage to your roof and other areas of your home.

• Check your roof for damaged or missing shingles that may leak during storms or winter snow melt. If you are not able to replace them yourself, it's a worthwhile investment to hire someone to do it.

• Clean your gutters. Leaves and other debris that collects in gutters can cause water to back up, causing ice dams and leaks. This can cause costly damage to your roof, siding, and wood trim.

• As cold weather approaches, disconnect all garden hoses, and drain all exterior water faucets to prevent them from expanding, freezing, and bursting.

• If you have a lawn irrigation system and live in an area that experiences freezing temperatures in the winter, have your pipes and system drained by a professional. Neglecting your system can cause costly damage and repairs.

Indoor Projects

• Have a certified technician clean your furnace and perform a tuneup to save money on heating fuel and repairs.

• Most ceiling fans have a reverse switch which causes the blades to operate in a clockwise direction. This feature causes an upward draft and pushes the warm air at the top of the ceiling down into the room.

• If you will be using your chimney for a fireplace or wood stove, contract with a professional for a thorough cleaning.

• Block drafts coming into the house around windows and doors with weatherstripping. Heavy curtains over windows can also be helpful in reducing drafts.

• Purchase a draft stopper for the bottom of the outside doors. A small investment can prevent cold drafts from sneaking in under a door.

• Install a programmable thermostat to automatically reduce temperature nights, and while you are at work. Set the heat to come on about 30 minutes before you get up and turn off right after the last family member leaves the house for work or school. You can also set it to turn up about 30 minutes before the first person arrives back home. Your home will be toasty and warm when you arrive.

• Whenever the oven is used for baking, open the door when it's turned off so the heat can come into the room and not be wasted.

• Insulate your water pipes to prevent freezing and bursting problems.

• Use throw rugs to add warmth to wooden and tile floors.

Getting your home ready for cold weather is important. Neglecting to prepare can result in higher fuel and electric costs as well as expensive damages. These suggestions can help keep your home warmer this winter and prevent additional expenses for repair.

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