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 Winter is just around the corner, and now may be a good time to get your home ready for the cold months ahead.  Here are some tips to help you keep out the cold, and stay comfortable at home.

  • CHECK YOUR FURNACE: Have your furnace inspected and tuned up annually by an HVAC professional.  Also, you may want to stock up on air filters and change them monthly to keep your furnace at it peak performance. 
  • INSTALL A PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT: Keep your home warm when you're at home, and save money by running your furnace less when you're asleep or away. If you take a vacation, be sure to keep your thermostat at 55 or higher to keep things form freezing while you're away. 
  • PREP YOUR FIREPLACE: Get cozy this winter in front of your fireplace, but first make sure the top is capped or screened to keep out unwanted pests.  Clean your chimney on a regular basis, and make sure you store firewood in a dry place - away from your home.
  • CHECK EXTERIOR DOORS AND WINDOWS: Inspect your windows and repair any cracked or broken glass. Use weather stripping or caulk to seal any leaks.  If you have removable storm windows, remember to replace them.
  • PREP SEASONAL TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT: Drain gas from your lawn mower before storing it, and service or tune-up your snow blower.  Clean and store summer gardening equipment. 
  • PREVENT PLUMBING FREEZES: Drain garden hoses and insulate exposed plumbing to prevent freezing and bursting pipes. 
  • PROTECT LANDSCAPING AND OUTDOOR SURFACES: Trim trees close to your house or around electrical wires.  Move plants sensitive to the cold indoors or to a sheltered area. Protect surfaces that can't withstand the harsher elements by sealing your driveway, brick patios and wood decks.   
 source: Wells Fargo "Your home matters"
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