10 ways to winterize your home

     Mr. Winter is upon us!  It’s important to protect your home from the harsh weather that winter can bring.  Here are 10 easy ways to help you stay warm and cozy while the weather outside is frightful.

1.  Get those leaves out of the gutter.

Clogged gutters can cause water to backup and not drain properly.  When winter temperatures freeze water that is stuck in you gutters, it could leak into the house once it starts to melt.

2.  Check for air leaks around the house.

Hold your hand in front of baseboards, power outlets, light switches, etc. to feel for any cold air that might be seeping in.  If so, go to your local hardware store to find different types of insulation to stop each leak.

3.  The more insulation, the merrier.

How old is your insulation?  When is the last time you took a look at it to see if it is still snug against your home, or sagging and separating away from it?  Insulation should be firm and snug against your home.  It isn’t the most inexpensive maintenance to do, but if done correctly can save you a lot of money on energy bills.

4.  While your at it, make sure your air ducts aren’t headed south for the winter.

Air ducts that are exposed to cold air, have tears, or aren’t properly connected can be costing you money.

5.  Before you fire up the furnace, check it out.

Make sure it works before you need it most.  Now is the time to make sure your heat doesn’t give out…not when there’s snow on the ground.  Also, dirty filters decrease the efficiency of your furnace and can pose a possible fire risk.

6.  Give your windows some special treatment.

Of course, making sure your windows are updated and well insulated is key.  However, if you can’t afford to run out and buy new windows, there are other ways to help insulate your windows.  Make sure they are well caulked around the edges, add weather striping, etc.  There are also inexpensive kits that come with plastic sheets to winterize your windows like this one:  http://www.lowes.com/pd_61805-1410-V73/9_4294929691__?productId=3112149&Ns=p_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNs%3Dp_product_qty_sales_dollar%7C1&facetInfo=

7.  Make sure that chimney is ready for Santa.

Annual inspections can be life savers.  If you have a wood stove, chimney sweeps are always a good idea.

8.  Speaking of fire…fire the alarm!

Now is a wonderful time to check those fire alarms and smoke detectors to make sure their batteries are still working.

9.  Get those fans moving in the right direction.

Make sure your fans are switched to circulate air for the winter, instead of blowing air as they do in the summer.

10.  Turn off the water.

Make sure your outdoor hoses are turned off and drained so that the water doesn’t freeze and burst them.

You can read more on these tips in the article that posted these wonderful gems of knowledge:  http://realestate.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-documentid=13107899




Information:  http://realestate.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-documentid=13107899

Picture: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/26/greathomesanddestinations/26your.html?_r=0

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