Preparing Your Home for Winter

With fall’s arrival, we know there are about a million other things you’d rather be doing than winterizing your home (like visiting a pumpkin patch, taking in the fall foliage, or sipping your 50th pumpkin spice latte). But the reality is: Cold weather, ice, and snow will soon be inevitable in many parts of the country, and they can cause damage to your home if you’re not prepared. We’ve put together a handy list of things you can do now to ensure you stay safe and warm all winter long.

Make Sure Your Heater Is Ready to Rock
Just like you shouldn’t wait until you need your air conditioner to run it, you shouldn’t wait until you need your heater to make sure it’s ready for the season. Calling your local heating and air company now to have your heater inspected will give you peace of mind and save you from being number 100+ on the waiting list as conditions outside worsen.

Insulate Your Windows
There is nothing better than curling up on the couch, sipping hot chocolate, and feeling oh-so warm and cozy; however, windows with poor insulation will kill those vibes quickly. Not only will you notice that your home is drafty, but you will more than likely run up your energy bill trying to warm it up. Insulating your windows now (or checking to ensure no insulation is needed) will prevent this problem.

Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
If your ceiling fans have reverse switches, you’ll want to take full advantage of them once you turn your heat on. Fan blades rotating clockwise will push down any rising hot air. While this may seem like nothing, it may allow you to keep your thermostat cooler by one or two degrees, saving energy and money.

Trim Potentially Harmful Tree Branches
If you have tree branches hanging dangerously low or within three feet of your roof, you’ll want to nip these (literally) before winter. Even a little snow or ice on a tree branch can cause it to break.

Drain Your Pipes
Make sure you disconnect any garden hoses and allow the water to drain out of the external pipes. Failing to do this can cause pipes to burst once the water freezes and expands in the pipe.

Inspect Your Fireplace
If you have a fireplace, getting it inspected and swept could be lifesaving. You should also ensure there are no tree limbs above or near the chimney, check that there are no missing or crumbling bricks, and ensure there are no bird nests or combustible materials in or near the fireplace.

Sources: Lowe’s, Grange Insurance

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