It’s not too early to get your home ready for winter. Homeowners should take action now while the weather is still nice. The last thing you want to do is fix any problems after the temperature has dropped below the freezing point.

The financial benefits of winterizing your home are worth it.

Now is the best time to get your home prepared for the winter months. It’s much easier to check windows and replace weather stripping with temperatures in the 80s as opposed to doing these chores in the midst of a winter storm.

Once you are finished with outdoor water chores, drain the water from your outdoor faucets and disconnect and drain the garden hoses. Roll up the hoses and store them in the garage or shed. Check your local home improvement store for insulated covers for your outdoor faucets.

For those with an in-ground sprinkler system, enlist a professional to drain the pipes. This will eliminate any costly repairs from a pipe bursting should it freeze while full of water.

You can easily insulate any exposed pipes with inexpensive foam covers found at local improvement stores. As an added precaution, make sure everyone in the house knows how to turn off the water at the source. This will be very handy in the event you do have a pipe freeze and break. Water damage can be costly to repair, so the faster you can get the water turned off, the better.

For those with a fireplace, make sure it is in tip-top shape before lighting that first match. Have the chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional before the weather gets cold. In addition, have a professional give your heating system a thorough check. Be sure to clean or replace any filters on the unit as well as vacuum the vents.

Another way to help conserve energy and save money is to install a programmable thermostat.

There is no need to keep your home toasty warm while everyone is at work and/or school. Set the thermostat back for the time everyone is away. Program the system to come back on shortly before everyone arrives home. You can also roll back the temperature a few degrees while everyone is sleeping.

Other energy wasters are drafty windows and doors. Add or replace worn weather stripping around the doors and windows. Be sure to caulk any gaps. Also, if any pipes or ducts travel through an exterior wall, it is a good idea to use caulking and weather stripping around all entry points. These steps will help block potential entry points for cold air.

Reversing ceiling fans is another simple way to save energy. When running in reverse mode, the fan produces an updraft and will push the warm air down into the room. This is especially helpful in rooms with high ceilings.

The last place you want to be in a winter storm is on your roof. Take advantage of fall’s mild weather to check over your roof. Look for damaged, lose or missing shingles that may leak during a winter storm or from melting snow. Check and repair breaks in the flashing seals around vent stacks and chimneys while you are on the roof. Be sure to give your gutters a thorough cleaning, too.

None of these tasks will take you very long to complete, but they will sure save time and money when winter rolls around. It will be much nicer setting inside by the fireplace this winter instead of trying to make repairs outside.

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