As we head into the winter season, it’s important to take a few moments to prepare your home for the cold weather. Let’s look at 7 things to help get you started.

Reverse Ceiling Fans. If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch, use it to run the  fan’s blades in a clockwise direction after your heat is turned on. According to Energy Star, the fan will produce an updraft and push down into the room heated air from the  ceiling. http://activerain.com/image_store/uploads/agents/dwpettis/files/reverse-your-ceiling-fans.jpg

Examine The Roof. If you can scan the roof closely with binoculars, look for loose or missing shingles that may leak from melting snow. If necessary hire a roofer or a handyman to handle any repairs. Also check for breaks in the flashing seals around vent stacks and chimneys.

Caulk Windows and Doors. If gaps between siding and window or door frames are bigger than the width of a nickel, exterior caulk needs to be reapplied. Remember to check window joints and door frames. Check window-glazing putty which seals glass into the window frame. Add weather stripping as needed around doors, making sure you cannot see any daylight from inside your home.

Clean Gutters. If your gutters are full of debris or litter, water can back up against the house causing leaks and damage to roofing, siding and wood trim. http://activerain.com/image_store/uploads/agents/dwpettis/files/clean-the-gutters.jpgRemember to look for gutters that are missing and damaged fascia boards and repair them.

Get Furnace Inspected. Have your furnace inspected to measure any carbon monoxide leakage, to ensure the system is clean and operating properly, and to ensure it can achieve its efficiency based on the manufacturer’s specifications.

Turn off Outside Faucets. Undrained water in pipes can freeze, which will cause pipes to burst as the ice expands. Disconnect all garden hoses and drain water that remains in faucets. Turn off the shut off valve inside your home, if you do not have frost-proof faucets.

Restock Winter Essentials. Before the first winter storm, be sure to restock cold-weather essentials, such as batteries, flashlights, shovels, salt or ice melt!

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