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Winterize your home to stay comfortable and save money during the season

October 9, 2014

Preparing your home for winter is about more than keeping it looking good during the harsh weather to come—it's also a great way to keep your house feeling comfortable and save money.

Home insurance is one smart way to protect yourself from exorbitant costs, and winterizing your property can also help you save on future maintenance problems as well as energy bills. Not to mention, it will help you stay warm and toasty while the rain, sleet and snow are raging outside.

Frozen pipes are just one thing you can prevent with proper winterizing strategy.

Start up top

If you want to get the tough stuff out of the way quickly, focusing on your roof and gutters first is a smart strategy. Survey your roof to make sure you don't have any loose shingles that could blow away during a storm or holes that could let cold drafts and rain in.

Next, it's time to give your gutters a good once-over. Chances are fall filled them up with leaves, which can lead to clogs that prevent proper drainage and cause serious damage to your roof and walls.

Dodge the draft

Your roof isn't the only area of your home where drafts can enter. Doors and windows are also common culprits, so it pays to inspect them to make sure they're offering proper protection. If not, a little weatherstripping and caulking can go a long way toward sealing up any breaches.

Think about your insulation

A tightly sealed home can help you cut down on the need for your heating system, but nothing is quite as effective at keeping warm air in and cold air out as proper insulation. If your home isn't properly insulated, now might be the ideal time to rectify the issue.

Hone in on heat

Even with proper insulation, chances are you'll be relying on your heating system from time to time. With that in mind, it's important to make sure your heater is in proper working order.

Besides running it through its paces, be sure to replace any old filters that may feature build up. Dirty filters can be a fire hazard, not to mention make your heater work harder and cost you more money.

Prepare your pipes

This is an especially important preparation if you live in an area where winter temperatures fall well below freezing. Extreme cold can lead to burst pipes—a costly and frustrating problem for your home. Investing in special products, such as pipe sleeves, that are intended to prevent freezing may be a good idea. Otherwise, simply drain outside pipes and other water supply lines around your house to ensure there's no water trapped inside that could freeze.