Whether you find the season magical or miserable, winter is right around the corner. With snowfall predicted for Saturday, here are some helpful tips to keep your house cozy and cost effective throughout the season:

  1. Be sure to inspect your roof and clear your gutters. We know that getting the ladder out can be a hassle, but making sure your roof is leak proof and your gutters are clear can make a big difference through the season. Inspecting the roof now will also save you money in the summer when you are trying to keep the cold in and the heat out.
  2. Buy a shovel and purchase snowmelt. The city government requires the sidewalk in front of your home to be shoveled and clear during the morning after the snow falls, and having the tools handy can make this process snow much easier.  
  3. Clean and inspect your chimney. Having a fire in the winter is incredibly comforting, but having your home fill up with smoke isn’t. Make sure that your chimney is clear, and ask a professional if you need to warm up the flue before you add wood. Also, be sure to close the dampers to avoid unwanted cold coming into your homes.
  4. Clean and service your central heating system and water heater. Over time, these can become dirty or clogged, which reduces the amount of heat they put out, and can cost you more to heat your home. Ideally, these systems are cleaned annually, but it is especially important during the winter.
  5. Inspect the weather stripping on your doors and windows. If you notice that there is a lot of cold coming entering your home, consider purchasing a draft stopper or window film. Both products keep the cold out and the cost down.
  6. Be sure your exterior lighting is ready to go and replace old or dim bulbs with new ones. Visibility is decreased in the snow and having lighting while you are shoveling the car out to get to grandma’s makes the task a lot easier.
  7. Prepare for blackouts by making sure your flashlights and lamps have fresh batteries.
  8. Turn off outdoor hose faucets and drain hoses to prevent freezing. This freeze can lead to a pipe bursting into your house that can cause a lot of damage.
  9. Inspect the façade of your home to make sure there are no holes through which moisture can enter. Water that enters small spaces may expand once it freezes, which could cause damage and costly repairs.