5 things you can do to protect your home from the winter

As the leaves turn yellow and the mornings become brisk, it’s evident that fall is officially here. A stark reminder that winter is only a few short months away. The next few months of fall are an ideal time for you to make repairs and winterize your home before those short, cold days are here.

Here are a few things you can do to not only prepare your home for winter, but also save on that heating bill.

1. One of the easiest, but most frequently forgotten steps is changing your air filters. It takes only a matter of seconds (especially if you have an extra one in the garage), but can reduce your energy consumption by as much as 15%.

2. Check around your doors and windows for any holes in the caulking or weatherstripping. Simple leaks can drain your energy efficiency anywhere from five to 30%. One simple way of doing this is taking an old towel, rolling it up, and placing it under a drafty door. You can also check for holes by using a blow dryer and candle. Have someone go outside and blow a hair dryer around the window while someone inside holds a candle. If the candle goes out, you have a hole in your caulking. Fixing those leaks can help winterize your home.

3. Remember all those leaves that turned color? You don’t want to forget about those. Make sure they’re out of all your gutters. If water can flow freely, it will help prevent icicles and ice dams that can harm your roof. Be careful, as ladder falls send hundreds of thousands of homeowners to the emergency room each year.

4. Ceiling fans are not only nice to help cool a home during summer months but can also be used in the winter to help warm your home. Ceiling fans should run clockwise and at low speeds during those cold months. They help push warm air which naturally rises, down to the floor. This in turn will make your room feel warmer and allow you to lower your thermostat temperature.

5. Finally, don’t forget to drain or blow out your sprinkler system. This is important because when water freezes, it expands. The expansion can cause fittings, pipes, pumps, and valves to burst and break as they don’t have the capacity to allow for expansion. Draining or blowing out your sprinklers is the safest way to ensure your sprinklers will be working when spring arrives.

Taking these few simple steps can help you winterize your home and save money on utility bills.

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