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tahoe-winter When the temperatures drops and the snow begins to fly the last thing you want is to be left out in the cold. You don’t want to be scrambling around trying to get your home in shape for the wintertime while the snow is starting to pile up around you.

Imagine being able to relax by your fireplace while the temperatures drop outside. Sipping hot chocolate wrapped in a blanket, while your neighbors scramble to get everything prepped before the next big storm hits.

The following steps will help push you in the right direction, if you’ve satisfied everything on the list below you’ll be all set for the winter time. Cold and nasty weather will be the least of your worries.

Test the snowblower

If you live somewhere that gets enough snowfall to need a snowblower then you’ll want to make sure yours is in working order. The last thing you want is to have to spend unwarranted energy and time shoveling your drive way, because your snowblower isn’t working.

Make sure it starts and is in working order. When you do a run through just make sure the blade isn’t on the ground. It also helps to keep an extra tank of gas in the garage, just in case.

Check your car

There are a few tests you’ll want to run through to make sure your car is in working order for the dropping temperatures. First, check all fluid levels, including oil, brake, coolant, steering and transmission. You’ll also want to pack an emergency kit for your trunk that should include warm clothes, non-perishable food, a flashlight and other emergency materials. You’ll also want to make sure you have good tire tread and they’re inflated to the correct level.

Lastly, top off your washer fluid, and make sure it won’t freeze in cold temperatures.

Place mousetraps in your rafters

A lot of times mice and other similar animals will crawl into your rafters looking for warmer temperatures. If you don’t want these little critters taking up space in your rafters then you’ll want to install mousetraps before temperatures drop too low.

Give your heating system a run through

Depending on what kind of heating system you have you’ll want to do a run through and make sure it’s in working order before you’re forced to wrap yourself up in blankets.

To test set your thermostat to 80 degrees and makes sure hot air is circulating through all of your vents. You may have to replace your air filter if it’s been a while since it’s been replaced.

Another important element is to make sure you have a carbon monoxide monitor some place in your home.

Check your chimney

If you do have a chimney you’ll want to make sure that it’s clear of all obstructions, that it locks and closes properly and the draft is flowing in the right direction. Lastly, you’ll want to look at the brick in the fireplace and have any open mortar joints repaired as soon as possible.

Insulate your plumbing

Burst pipes are very common in the wintertime. There are several ways to avoid this. For instance, any exposed pipes should be insulated with foam insulation, at the minimum. If you have outdoor faucets and hoses, make sure you drain them and close off all of the valves.

Make sure you have proper insulation

You already know how important insulation is to keeping your home warm, so hopefully you already have solid insulation. The most important areas you’ll want to insulate are your hot water tank and exterior and interior electrical outlets.

Check your doors and windows

Cold air leaks from around doors and windows can contribute to a lot of unnecessary costs on your heating bill. Make sure you have proper insulation surrounding all of your doors and windows.

If you have really old windows and doors it might be worth it to invest in double-pane windows that will help to keep even more cold out.

For doors it can be easy to add weatherstripping to the sides and bottom of all your doors.

Inspect your roof

One of the last steps you’ll want to take in winterizing your home is making sure your roof is set for snowfall. You’ll want to make sure all shingles are in place and any leaks around chimneys or any other protrusions are taken care of or replaced. Lastly, if you do have gutters make sure they are clean and aren’t filled with any leaves or pine needles.

If you’ve taken the time to complete the items on this list then you’ll be in great shape come wintertime, and ready to enjoy the snow, or embrace the warmth of your home.

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