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Time to Winterize: Prepare now for damaging ice and biting winds

Save money now and in the future by winterizing your home now, before the worst of winter arrives.

Drafty doors and windows, failing furnaces and leaky roofs should be addressed or they risk becoming a much, much bigger issue as temperatures drop. In some cases, winterizing your home takes nothing more than a bit of sweat equity.

Inefficient doors and windows make it more difficult to warm your home, sending energy bills soaring. The danger doesn’t end with uncomfortable drafts, however. Leaks that let in winter temps also allow in condensation, which can lead to rot in the wood frames that surround your doors and windows.

Caulking or weather stripping is often all that’s needed. If you decide to entirely replace them, consult local professionals to find out more about the most efficient new models. Then hire a licensed professional to make sure you receive a warranty-protected installation.

Electric and gas furnaces need annual service checks in order to operate optimally. Most are projected to work efficiently for around 10-15 years before they need replacement. You don’t want that term to end when there’s snow on the ground.

The good news is, it’s easy to monitor any system’s age. A sticker with the model number, date of manufacture and date of installation should be found on the unit. If your system has been in place for more than a decade, it may be time to consider a complete overhaul or unit replacement.

Even if your furnace manages to limp through the looming cold season, an inefficient system can still have a huge impact on your bottom line. Residential costs have been skyrocketing lately, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts that trend will continue.

Check your roofing each fall for damaged shingles and leaks.

If you don’t feel comfortable with doing this inspection yourself, hire a professional. They can help head off serious issues.

Power wash all siding and decks so remaining dirt doesn’t promote mold and mildew. Add a new coat of sealer to the exterior of your home to help minimize the impact of winter precipitation.

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