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Tips on how to better winterize your home

Even though near record temperatures have been recorded throughout the state the past couple of weeks, winter will be here sooner or later.

With that in mind, winterizing your home will be a must if you don't want to have to pay high prices in home repairs.

Here are just a few tips to follow when winterizing your home:

Seal Leaks around Doors and Windows

n Add or replace worn weather-stripping around doors and windows.

n Caulk gaps where necessary.

n Replace worn door stops at the bottom of doors.

n If you have them, install storm doors and windows. Don’t forget to winterize basement windows.

n Replace old windows with energy efficient windows.

Seal Other Leaks

n Use caulking and weather-stripping around entry points for all pipes and ducts that travel through an exterior wall.

n Install insulating kits behind electrical plugs that are on a wall with an exterior side.

Heating System Checks

n Have a heating professional do a routine-check before cold weather arrives.

n Vacuum the vents and other heating components.

n If it has one, replace the furnace filter. Make future replacements as needed or directed by your furnace manufacturer.

n Consider installing a setback thermostat. It regulates the temperature, allowing the home to be cooler when you are away or asleep.

n Fill oil or propane tanks.

Check the Fireplace

n Have the chimney inspected and cleaned.

n Close the fireplace damper when not in use.

n Read more about woodburning fireplaces and gas log fireplaces.

Check the Roof & Its Neighbors

n Replace loose shingles.

n Make sure the flashing around the chimney or vent pipes is watertight.

n Check the bricks and mortar.

n Install a screen at the top of the chimney to keep leaves and other items out.

n

drain gutters and point downspouts away from the house.

n Trim tree limbs that are hanging over or touching the roof.

Winterize the Plumbing

n Take care of known issues with pipes that freeze. Heat tape can be used to keep them warm during extremely cold weather.

n Learn how to turn off water at its source so that you can stop leaks immediately if they start.

n Drain water from outdoor faucets when you think a hard freeze is coming.