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Easy Ways to Winterize Your Home

Life_D16-5It’s that time again to check out what needs to be done around your home before the long, cold season. Make sure you’re ready for whatever the unpredictable weather brings. Give yourself the gift of a stress-free winter by getting everything done in advance, and enjoy the holidays without worry.

Get the “Tools of Winter” Ready – Be prepared when the snow arrive with a shovel at the back door, ice melter in a container next to your walkway, an ice scraper and snow brush in your car. It’s also a good idea to keep an extra pair of mitts and a hat in your car in case you need them, and lock “de-icer” inside by your keys.

Prepare Your Car – Winter tires are a must on slippery roads. If you haven’t made the change yet, it’s time! Make sure your antifreeze is topped up, and you have an additional supply in your trunk along with an extra bottle of windshield wiper fluid. You’ll also want to make sure your wipers are in top shape so you can keep windshield safe and clear.

Prepare the Home – Filters should be changed on your furnace to keep it at peak efficiency. Consider a programmable thermostat that can lower the temperature while you are out of the house, but warm it up again just before you arrive home.

Give Your Hot Water Heater a Tune-Up – It’s a good idea to get your hot water heater checked out well ahead of time so you don’t suddenly get stuck with cold water on the coldest day of the year! Remember, by turning down your heater’s temperature by a couple of degrees or installing a timer you can save a substantial amount of money over the winter.

Clean Up those Gutters! – Empty sticks, leaves and other debris from your eaves and downspouts so that snow can easily melt and run off. This prevents “ice dams” that can cause damage to the roof and walls of your home.

Protect the Pipes – Protect your external water pipes leading to the garden by closing the source off at the tap, and then turning on the faucet to drain the pipe. This prevents water in the pipes from freezing and causing the pipes to crack and split.

Check to see if you have any pipes running along outside walls that aren’t insulated, (such as your garage or basement). These can be easily insulated to keep from breaking if the temperature dips!

Check the pipes for cracks and do any plumbing repairs needed, then wrap them in insulation sleeves to keep them from freezing.

Drain the hoses of your air conditioner too, or close the shutoff valve if you have one.

Have a warm, cozy, and safe home this winter.