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Keep your home winterized with these 7 tips.

Keep your home winterized with these 7 winter maintenance tips.

Keep the cold out, the heat in, and your energy bill down with these cost-effective tips for winterizing your home.

Don’t let your pipes freeze.

Insulate pipes, at least those by windows and doors, and in unheated areas of the home. Disconnect your hose from the outside hose bib (outside faucet). 

Keep the heat set no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12.7 degrees Celsius) when you’re away.

Be aware of ice dams forming.

Ice dams form because the edges of your roof are colder than the upper regions (where more insulation is below), causing ice to form around the eaves. Remove snow as quickly as possible after storms (or hire someone to do this for you).

If you see the beginnings of an ice dam, carefully remove snow and ice if possible without damaging roof and gutters.

Keep an eye on trees that are within reach of your home.

Big snowfalls can settle onto tree limbs, making them heavy and more prone to breaking and landing on your house. Brush off the snow after each snowfall, using a broom to extend your reach.

It’s best not to shake trees, this can cause brittle limbs to break.

Keep your home’s heating system running properly.

Have your heating system inspected by a professional regularly. If you hear any strange noises coming from your heater or if one area of the house suddenly seems colder, have the system looked at right away, as these can be signs something is wrong.

Not only in winter, but throughout the year, change your air filters in your furnace.

Check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

This is especially important during the winter when windows kept closed and wood-burning stoves and fireplaces are used more often.

Keep emergency supplies handy.

With winter storms comes more potential for power outages. Be prepared with fresh bottled water, shelf-stable foods, flashlights and batteries, first-aid supplies and a hand-cranked radio and smartphone charger.

Clean your fireplace.

Have your fireplace cleaned by a certified chimney sweep. Regular cleaning is a necessary safety measure for wood-burning fireplaces and wood stoves since the buildup of creosote inside your chimney can potentially cause a house fire.

Even gas fireplaces should be checked for a nest or debris.

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