It may be hard to believe, but winter will officially be here next week. Temperatures have already started to drop and the holiday season is upon us. While you’ve no doubt been preparing for your holiday celebrations, there are also things you should be doing to prepare your home for winter. Winter can wreak havoc on your home, but there are things you can do to help lower your risk. Here are our best tips for winterizing your home before the really cold weather sets in.

Clean the gutters

With all the falling leaves we get in autumn, it’s essential that you clean your gutters before temperatures drop. Leaves and other debris can create blockages in your gutters, preventing water from draining away from your roof and causing ice dams. Make sure that downspouts are pointed away from your home’s foundation. And trim any tree branches that are hanging over your house.

Clean up the yard

Now is also the time to get your yard cleaned up for winter. Trim trees by removing dead branches. Snow and ice can accumulate on tree branches, making them very heavy. This can cause them to break, which could potentially damage your home, cars, or even people walking by.

Turn off outside faucets

Remove your garden hoses and store them away for winter. Shut off the valves to outside water supplies and insulate the faucet. This will help to keep your pipes from freezing in the winter. Frozen pipes can burst causing big problems.

Seal cracks

If your home tends to feel chilly inside during then the colder months, then check for drafts. Look around doors and windows for any cracks in the seal and repair with caulk or weatherstripping. Particularly draft windows can be made more efficient with a window insulation film. It’s expensive and easy to install. Use a draft guard at the bottom of doors if there’s a gap between the door and the floor.

Replace filters

If you haven’t already replaced the filters in your AC and furnace, then now is the time to do so. Regularly replacing your filters will keep these appliances in working order and extend their longevity. You may also want to have your furnace tuned up by a professional. This can help you avoid costly and urgent repairs in the middle of a cold snap.

Install a programmable thermostat

We’re all more aware of energy efficiency these days. If we’re more efficient, then we’ll save money on our utility costs. It’s also better for the environment. One easy way to become more energy efficient in your home is to install a programmable thermostat. This allows you to set the temperature at certain times of the day without having to worry about it. Consider keeping the house cool while you are out for the day and while you sleep. You can program the thermostat to increase the temperature when you’re home. Keeping the thermostat set between 62 and 68 degrees will keep your house comfortable and ease the pressure on your wallet.

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