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How to Winterize a Home

With just a few steps, you'll keep your home warm and give costly winter problems the cold shoulder.

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Step 1: Watch an Overview Video

Step 2: Clean Out Gutters and Downspouts

Consider installing gutter guards to keep gutters clean. Clean gutters to prevent ice damning. This happens when water can't drain through the gutters and seeps into the house causing water drips from the ceiling and walls.

Trim trees and remove any dead twigs which can break during a winter storm. The flashing around the chimney or vent pipes should be watertight. Close the fireplace damper when you aren't using it. Drain underground sprinklers, outdoor faucets and garden hoses. Store hoses inside.

Step 3: Caulk Cracks to Stop Drafts

Add or replace worn-out weather stripping around doors and windows. Caulk and patch any cracks or gaps in the siding. Seal brick exteriors with a high quality masonry sealer to stop any "freeze-thaw" damage.

Use outlet seals to stop air leaks in electrical receptacles and light switches. The bottom of your garage door should also have a weather strip to seal out drafts. Seal up air leaks in the attic and basement. You should have R-30 insulation in the attic.

Step 4: Prevent Pipes from Freezing

Keep your home's temperature at least 65 degrees to keep pipes from freezing. Wrap pipes that run along exterior walls with heating tape. Pull out your old furnace filter, vacuum the intake grill and replace the filter regularly.

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