photo-1446463969211-28bf6e20b315-1030x687The temperatures are dropping and the holiday season is here. Whether we are ready for it or not, winter is upon us. Before the weather keeps us indoors for good, now is the perfect time to make sure to winterize your home. Below are 10 inexpensive things you can do to prepare your home.

Clean Out Gutters
It might not be a fun chore but it is likely the most important thing you can do to get your home ready for winter. Making sure your gutters are cleared out will help to prevent issues like ice dams on your roof, which can cause serious water damage to your home. Clean gutters also helps to prevent icicles from forming.

Water Heater Flush
Flushing your water heater is as easy as opening up the drain valve and allowing any particles or sediment that has collected over the year to be flushed from the water heater. This will help it to run more efficiently.

Reverse Ceiling Fans
Changing the direction of your ceiling fans to clockwise will help to push the hot air that gets stuck along the ceiling down toward the floor and recirculate it through the room.

Replace Filters
Making sure you change your filters regularly can greatly improve the efficiency and longevity of your furnace. A dirty filter not only restricts air flow but in extreme cases it can be a fire hazard, as well. Changing your filter every 4-6 weeks is a good rule of thumb.

Chimney Inspection
If you use your chimney during the winter months, now is the time to get it inspected and cleaned. A dirty chimney is a common cause of fire and smoke damage in a home, so make sure yours is safe to use. If you don’t use your chimney in winter, consider using a chimney balloon to help keep out drafts.

Block Drafts
A surprising amount of heat can escape from around the exterior doors in your home. A draft guard or simple rolled towel kept at the base of exterior doors can do wonders for keeping cold air out of your home. Now is also an ideal time to add weatherstrip tape or caulk around your doors and windows to block any gaps and stop warm air from escaping.

Wrap Pipes
Adding insulation to your pipes can help save money on your gas bill by reducing the amount of heat lost as water flows through them. It can also help prevent pipes from freezing when the temperatures drop overnight.

Trim Trees
Check to see if there are any tree branches hanging over your house or driveway. As snow and ice weigh branches down, the possibility of them falling and causing damage to your home increases. Now is a great time to trim those trees and prevent any issues.

Check Detectors
Because people are spending more time running their furnaces and boilers to stay warm, it is vital that you have working carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in your home. Go through the house and replace batteries and any faulty detectors.

Programmable Thermostat
Using a programmable thermostat is an easy way to maintain a comfortable and cost-efficient temperature in your home. To decrease your energy bill even further, set your thermostat to 68 degrees and start wearing your cozy sweaters and socks inside.