Old Man Winter is on his way!  Before he is here to stay for a few months, get these things done BEFORE the snow flies:

Cut the power to your A/C – Cut the power to your central air condition by flipping the breaker in your electrical box so your compressor doesn’t get damaged during the frigid weather.

Make sure your heating system is ready – Depending on the type of heating system you have, there are a few maintenance things you should do before the temperatures really start to dip.  We always recommend having a professional check and tune up your heating system once a year… And don’t forget to change your furnace filter!

Disconnect all hoses and shut off outdoor faucets – Make sure to disconnect all hoses before the weather is consistently before freezing and turn off outdoor faucets.  Typically, outdoor faucet shut offs are in your basement near where the spigot is located.

Check your insulation – Having the correct amount of insulation will keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer which will cut down on your energy costs.  It’s also a place where mice and other critters like to call home.  Check of your attic to make sure there is plenty of insulation and to ensure that there aren’t any unwanted guests.

Switch ceiling fans to reverse – Most people think of turning on their ceiling fans when their home needs to be cooled down, but many ceiling units come with a switch that reverses the direction of the blades.  Clockwise rotation can help keep your home warmer (and cut down your heating costs!) because the fan will circulate the warmer air that is near the ceiling back into the living space.

Insulate your pipes – Insulating your water piping will not only decrease the chance of them freezing, but it will also help you save money for your hot water.  Pre-slit pipe foam is available at most hardware stores.  Cut it to size and fasten it in place with duct tape.

Dodge the drafts – Drafts can waste up to 30% of your energy use.  Check doors and windows for any drafts.  Install storm doors and windows if you have them.  If you can feel the cold air coming from underneath exterior doors, use a draft stopper or place a rolled-up bath towel underneath the door.

Clean your gutters and down spouts – Clogged gutters can lead to damaging ice dams and roof leaks in the winter.  If you don’t have gutter guards, make sure they are clear of leaves and other debris before the first snow fall.