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Baby It's Cold Outside: Winterizing Your Home

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By Rachel Derry
Staff Writer LIFamilies

With the cold weather sneaking up on us, now is the time to start preparing your house and home for the winter months ahead. As a homeowner it is always important to not only keep your family warm throughout the winter, but to also keep them and your home safe, as well. While the sun is still shining and you have a little time before the holidays really begin, take a couple weekends to make sure that your home is winter ready and warm.

Clean out your gutters ASAP. With all of the storms that we've already had this season, it's safe to say that there are plenty more on the way. Make sure that your gutters are cleared of all leaves and debris so that they will be able to guide all rain and snow runoff away from your house and roof. Make sure that either you or your spouse uses a safe sturdy ladder, and there should always be a "spotter" nearby just in case.

Check for drafts and leaks and close them up now. Caulk any drafts or leaks around your windows and door frames to keep your warm air in and the cold and wet air out. You should also check around the exterior of your windows and door frames to see if there are any structural repairs that need to be made, such as cracks or crevasses leading into the home. You also want to keep out any critters running from the cold.

Schedule a chimney cleaning and furnace tune-up before you need them. The last thing you want is to put in an emergency call when your house has plummeted to 50 degrees due to a lack of heat. The best way to save a little money and to keep your home and self safe is to follow preventative measures. Make sure your furnace is cleaned and tuned up. Have your chimneys swept and damper checked. Also have your blowers and systems tested, while you're at it. It is always better to be safe than sorry!

Bring in your hoses and turn off your outdoor water sources before they have the chance to freeze. Although a hose may be easy to replace if it expands then bursts due to freezing, your outdoor pipes may not be. Don't take a chance and have everything taken in early. You can always water outdoor plants and shrubs the old-fashioned way, with a watering can, if they need a little assistance throughout the winter.

Make sure that your attic's insulation is up to snuff for the winter. Check to make sure that you don't need to lay some extra, up-to-date insulation throughout your attic to keep the warm air in the house. It's bound to stay cold up there no matter what, but you can still conserve as much of your heat as possible with proper insulation.

Lastly, with the heat being turned on and the windows being shut up, this is the perfect time to check all of your CO and smoke detectors throughout the house. You're intentionally staunching fresh air flow to keep your family warm, so you'll also want to keep them safe from any gas leaks. If need be, now is a good time to pick up a couple extra CO detectors that plug into your outlets, and replace all of the batteries in your battery-operated smoke alarms.

Long Island Home & Lifestyle Articles > Baby It's Cold Outside: Winterizing Your Home

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