It’s that time of year to prepare your home for the cold. Preparing for winter is necessary to keep up with home maintenance, take the time to protect your home and your investment. Taking the time to winterize will help protect your home from snow, ice, and cold temperature damages. Here are a few things to do before winters arrival:

Insulate Windows & Doors

Drafty doors and windows in your home will drive up your energy bill when it’s cold outside. Take the time to inspect your windows and doors. If you can see daylight around your exterior doorways, add weather stripping to prevent cold air from seeping in. If needed, add a draft snake to the bottom of the doorway. Look around your windows for any gaps and fill with the appropriate caulk type. Sealing up air leaks can reduce your home’s energy costs up to 20% per year, according to the U.S. Energy Department.

Furnace Tune-Up

Now is the ideal time to tune up your furnace and replace the air filter. Maintaining your furnace can help extend the life span of the system. Calling in a contractor to check your HVAC system can ensure it will run properly during frigid temperatures. If your home has an older thermostat, replace it with a programmable unit to save money on heating costs.

Attic Insulation

An attic is an easily forgotten space. A well-insulated home in the winter can make all the difference. Take a peek into your attic space and check for any holes or cracks leading to the exterior. Be on the lookout for any water spots and address any issues. Call in a contractor to ensure and problems are fixed prior to snow and ice.

Clean Gutters

We all love the beautiful fall foliage, but after it falls gutters and downspouts become clogged. A clogged gutter can cause damage to your home’s foundation as water cannot flow away from your home. A clogged gutter can also lead to an ice dam which can become dangerous. Cleaning your gutters of any debris can prevent any of these listed problems.

Drain Outdoor Faucets

Draining any outdoor water fixtures is imperative to prevent pipes from freezing over and bursting. Disconnect any water hoses and drain any water in the remaining faucet. If your home doesn’t have a frost-proof faucet, turn off the shut off valve located inside of your home.

Prepare for Snow

Don’t wait until the first snowstorm to find out you have no shovel and there is only a cup of salt left. Obtaining these items now will make the snow removal process much easier. If your snow removal items are located in the back of the garage or shed, bring them forward for ease of access.

Trim Tree Branches

Trimming tree branches right after the leaves fall is not ideal for the tree’s health. But if you have branches laying, touching, or within 3 feet of your home, you will want to trim these away. If not trimmed excess water can seep into cracks on your home’s roof or siding. Ice-coated branches against your roof, siding, and windows are never a good thing.