Winter Tips for the Home

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Old Man Winter made his appearance in a big way!

And while those in some parts of  Idaho are seeing a small respite this week there’s no denying that the cold months have finally arrived and may be settling in for a stay. There are a number of things as existing or new home owners that can help you maintain your home through Winter and protect your investment – these tips will even benefit renters as they can help you keep your energy costs lower as well.

Reverse your fans!
If you have vaulted ceilings especially, you may want to consider reversing your fans and cause them to spin clock-wise in order to direct warm air downwards where you can get more enjoyment from it.

Tune up that furnace!
A lot of us don’t think about it until we turn on the heat for that first time and get “the smell”. Well, that smell could in fact mean it’s time to get your ducts cleaned and heating systems serviced. These minor maintenance calls are usually far more affordable beforehand than after there is an actual issue.

Get in the gutters.
If it hasn’t frozen yet, or you’re experiencing a brief second spring it never hurts to get those gutters nice and open to handle the extra flow of water from snow melting and packing in. Consider adding a short extension to your downspouts also in order to keep ice damns from building up around the house.

Stock Up!
With the holidays getting into full swing it’s a good time to make sure you’re stocked up on the essentials. Not just TP! Make sure you’re cupboards are well supplied with lots of soups and coffee. Keep plenty of snow-melt in the garage for keeping the walks clear and take a look at your snow shovel or blower in case they need to be replaced or serviced — once the big snow flies it can be next to impossible to find a good shovel.

Dodge the drafts.
Check your windows – you can use a lit candle to see if the flame moves – and make sure there are no drafts. If you have older windows consider replacing them with newer better insulated ones. Large windows, sliding, or french style doors can also cause a lot of heat loss so consider insulating them with even a layer of plastic or store-bought insulation.

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