With the cold months looming ahead, you've gotten your sweaters, coats and gloves out of your storage bins;  but what have you done to prepare your house for the brutal months ahead?

Readying your house for winter is just as important as preparing yourself.  So here are some tips to get you started:

1) Make sure you have blocked any "leaks" in your home.  This can be your windows, doorways, even electrical outlets on outer walls.  Get your weather stripping, door sweeps or caulking done both inside and out.

2) Clean out your gutters. Yep...cleaning out leaves and other debris that have gotten into the gutters, gives your home optimum drainage potential when snow and ice are gathered on your rooftop.

3) Check your furnace.  Sometimes overlooked by homeowners, but extremely important! Check for a prolonged smell when you turn it on, check and clean the filters each season, and have a professional clean and tune it before you need to use it on a daily basis.

4) Add insulation.  This may cost a little more than you want to spend, but adding insulation to your attic or leaky exterior walls, will save you a bundle on heating costs.

5) Check the duct work.  Did you know that you can lose up to 60% of your heated air if the ducts are not connected correctly, or are full of dust and other particles! 

6) Inspect your chimney. This is so important....doing the necessary cleaning and venting will not only close out leaks that may be present, but will also ensure that your fireplace is not a fire hazard.

7) Reverse those fans! When you reverse the direction of your ceiling fan from summer mode, you will force warm air downward, and keep it circulating throughout the home.

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