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Winterizing Your Home

November 15, 2011

As the nighttime temperatures drop and sweatshirts come out, it is time once again to prepare our home for the onslaught of winter.  We have compiled a list of things to consider to keep your home safe, warm and energy efficient.  Here we go:

  1. Disconnect and drain all garden hoses.  Shut off all outdoor spigots.
  2. Call an HVAC professional to inspect your furnace.
  3. Remember to keep your furnace filters changed regularly.
  4. Check all windows and door for cold drafts.  Draft snakes placed under leaky doors can save a lot in energy consumption.  For a more permanent solution to drafts, it is recommended to check the weather stripping and caulking around your home to ensure that warm air is not escaping.
  5. Chimneys should be screened to make sure that birds and animals will not create debris that could cause a chimney fire.  If your chimney hasn’t been cleaned in a while, call a chimney sweep.
  6. Store any fire wood in a dry place away from your home.
  7. Remember to open your fireplace damper before lighting a fire.  Close it after all smoke has cleared.
  8. Clean gutters to make sure they drain properly.
  9. Add insulation to the attic if necessary to prevent ice dams.
  10. Replace any broken glass and install storm windows if they are available.
  11. Trim branches that hang too close to your home or electrical wires.
  12. Replace batteries in smoke detectors and test them.
  13. Add carbon monoxide detectors in your home.  If you have them, test them and replace any that need to be replaced.
  14. Turn ceiling fans to “winter” mode so they can actually help you churn warm air in your home.
  15. Keep a supply of batteries and flashlights in case the power goes out.
  16. Stock up on water and food in case you become snowed in.
  17. Buy your snow shovels early.  Why do we always have to learn this one the hard way?
  18. Clear all dead vegetation from around the foundation of your home.
  19. Check and seal any crevices around your foundation where air can escape or rodents can get in.
  20. Have your emergency numbers in a handy place and let neighbors know if you will be away.  Give your neighbor the contact information for your insurance agent in case something happens to your home while you are gone.
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