By: Jenny Zhang, Quizzle.com
With winter right around the corner, the time has come once again to prepare your home for the cold, frosty weather. Just by following these simple steps to weather-proof your home, you could save hundreds of dollars each year on energy costs:
- Look for cracks where heat may escape around windows or doors. For cracks that lead to the outside, be sure to caulk and fill in the gaps.
- If your windows are old, it may be time to look into energy efficient windows. Keep in mind that there's a tax credit of up to $1,500 right now for buying Energy Star certified products.
- Check your roof for loose shingles; it's better to pay for upkeep than to wait until your roof collapses under the weight of snow.
- Change the furnace filter. This not only makes your furnace work more efficiently, but also traps more allergens and dust.
- Clean your gutters. Gutters that are full may lead to water back-up in your home, causing deterioration, water damage and mold.
- Make sure all water from the gutters runs away from the house by at least three to four feet. Water pooling near the base of the house may cause damage to the basement.
- Drain and flush your hot water heater.
- Check your basement for cracks or leaks, and seal if necessary.
- Store your lawn furniture and clean out the garage before it gets too cold for maintenance.
- Sort through dead plants, seed your lawn and remove dead shrubbery now, so it's not trapped near the house all winter, preventing good air flow and causing water retention.
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