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Tips for Winterizing Your Home

The leaves are changing on the trees and the nights are chillier in Nevada. That means winter is on its way and that now is a great time to prep one of your biggest investments for the coming season. Below are some easy ways to winterize your home to keep things protected both inside and out.

Trim Trees House covered in snow

Falling limbs or trees can harm roofs, siding, gutters, porch railings, decks and cars, as well as people. Early fall is a good time to remove dead or broken branches and trees.

Prepare Plumbing

To weatherproof plumbing, shut off the water supply to outdoor spigots, swamp coolers and sprinkler systems, and then drain them. You may also require a contractor to blow out any excess moisture from your irrigation system.  

Protect Air Conditioning Units

In northern Nevada, temperatures below freezing are normal during the coldest parts of winter. Placing a protective cover over your air conditioning unit outdoors will help protect it from the elements. 

Inspect Chimneys

Before you start those cozy fireside nights, make sure that your chimney is clean and no unwelcomed guests have moved into it during the summer. A professional chimney sweep can give your fireplace and flue a once over to make sure all debris and other unwanted matter has been removed.

Switch Ceiling Fan Directions

Ceiling fans aren’t just for cooling things down. During winter fans set clockwise help move heated air that has risen back down into your living space.

Examine Gutters and Roof

Clean gutters ensure that rainwater can flow freely down your gutters and away from your house. At the same time, repairing damaged roof shingles or tiles will prevent bigger problems and roof repair costs down the road.

Tune Up Heating Systems

To test your heating system, temporarily turn the thermostat way up to 80 degrees and give it a few minutes to run. If you don’t soon feel warm air blowing, it might be time to call in a professional for repairs before the cold weather really sets in. You should also check the furnace filter on a monthly basis and replace it as needed so that the system can run more efficiently and last longer, saving you money on installing a new one.
 
The US Department of Energy estimates that you can save as much as 1% on your energy bill for every degree you lower your home's temperature during the winter. Consider a programmable thermostat to reduce use when not home.
 
After testing does it look like you’ll need to invest some money into hiring professionals and replacing broken equipment? Homeowners often find that a Home Equity Line of Credit is an affordable way to access those funds.

Winterize RVs

Don’t forget about your other “homes”! It’s important to winterize recreational vehicles during colder seasons. Here’s a handy RV winterizing checklist to help you DIY or identify when it’s time to take it in for professional service.
 
Being prepared financially is just as important. If something does happen to your roof or plumbing, having an emergency fund can be a life saver. Check Greater Nevada’s Financial Education Center for tips on building emergency funds, borrowing money, setting budgets and more.