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    Top 7 Home Improvement Winterizing Tips

    December 20th, 2012 , Last Modified: December 20th, 2012

    Winterizing your home is just as important as preparing yourself for the cold winter months. Just like you need gloves, scarves, coats, and boots, your home needs to be enveloped in a blanket that will help keep it, and you, comfy and toasty.

    These expert home improvement tips below will also keep your home healthy and able to take on Mother Nature, regardless of what she's got in store:

    1. Gutter Maintenance
    When the leaves fall, climb a ladder and clean your gutters thoroughly. Finish off with a good hose rinse to ensure water flows through them effortlessly. Failure to do so could cause ice dams formation within them, backing up water into the structure.

    2. Light a Candle
    Blocking leaks is easy when you know where they are. Just use a lighted candle, with caution, to check for drafts. Don't forget electrical outlets on exterior walls! Winterizing leaks involves using silicone, insulation, door sweeps, and other easy-to-find materials.

    3. Put Some Jeans on Your Home
    Insulation comes in many forms, but you can do yourself, and the environment, a favor by increasing the insulation in the attic or the basement. Recycled denim insulation is a great way to do this, without any irritation. The investment will pay for itself in no time.

    4. Solutions for Windows
    Older windows may be causing drafts in your home, and allowing heat to seep outdoors. Replacing windows is obviously a costly undertaking that may not be in your budget, but you can invest in some window insulating kits as a cost-effective solution.

    5. Turn your Fans in the Opposite Direction
    Ceiling fans are an economical way to cool a room in the warmer months of the year, but reversing them goes a long way in the wintertime. In doing so, it pushes the hotter air down to your level.

    6. Wrap your Pipes and Water Heater
    Wrapping pipes and the water heater can save you a bundle in energy costs, and more! Also, pipes that pass through unheated areas, like crawl spaces, can burst in cold temperatures, so make sure that they are drained and wrapped before the cold sets in. Otherwise you could be dealing with huge repair costs and damages.

    7. Cleaning the Furnace and the Ducts
    An inspection and cleaning of the furnace is crucial for safety and to ensure all is working well with the appliance. Dirty air filters will reduce a furnace's efficiency, in addition to being a safety hazard. A thorough cleaning of ducts is also crucial to increase efficiency and reduce dust mites that lurk within them. Also, consider insulating ducts in unheated areas, which will save you lots of money.

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