Fall is here! Now is the perfect time to start thinking about preparing your home for winter. By following these ten simple tips you can ensure your home will be protected from damage during the harsh winter months.

Winterizing Your Home

1.Check the Roof

Look for any damaged, loose, or missing shingles. Any of these could cause a leak during a winter storm or from melting ice.

2.Caulk around Windows and Doors

If you find gaps between siding and window or door frames that are bigger than the width of a nickel, you should reapply exterior caulk. Also, consider adding weather stripping as needed around doors, making sure you cannot see any daylight from the inside of your home.

3.Clean the Gutters

If your gutters are full, water can back up against the house can cause damage to roofing, siding and wood trim. Plus, it can cause leaks and ice dams.

4. Turn off Exterior Faucets

Undrained water in pipes can freeze, which will cause pipes to burst as the ice expands. Start by disconnecting all garden hoses and draining the water that remains in the faucets.

5. Call a Chimney Sweep

Make sure your fireplace chimney and vents are clean and in good repair. That will prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide from creeping into your home.

6. Reverse Ceiling Fans

Many people only think of fans when they want to be cool, but many models have a switch that reverses the direction of the blades. The clockwise motion makes the air warmer by taking the warm air near the ceiling and circulating it back into the living space.

7. Put Away Outdoor Gear

Take advantage of these last couple of warmer days to scrub down your patio furniture and either cover it or store it away. Your grill may also need a good thorough cleaning.

8. Inspect Tree Branches

Scan your property for any branches that are growing over the house, driveway, or power line. During a storm, these could come down and cause major damage.

9. Tune up Your Heating System

For about $80-$100, a technician will inspect your furnace or heat pump to be sure the system is clean and in good repair. This inspection will also measure carbon monoxide leakage.

10. Check Your Insulation

In an older home, this can be the most cost-effective way to cut home heating costs. Without proper insulation, a large amount of heat can be lost through the walls, floors and ceilings. If your attic isn’t insulated, this would be a good idea to consider.

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