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Get your home and car ready for the winter elements

First Tech tips to protect your home and car during winter months.

Preparing your home for a freezing or wet winter doesn’t always take a lot of time or money. Winterizing your home is a good way to provide peace of mind when the weather outside takes a turn for the worse, keeping you comfortable and saving you money in the process.

There are a few easy steps you can take to save hundreds of dollars on your energy bills, and make sure your home is protected from the storm outside this coming winter:

  • Disconnect outdoor hoses – Drain the hoses and store them in an appropriate location. Frozen hose bibs and spigots can cause major water damage in your home. Cover the spigots and exposed pipe with an insulation of your choice. Insulation options include fiber glass and foam insulation sleeves that are made to fit around piping. You can even use rag clothes and cover them with plastic and secure that with duct tape.
  • Check your furnace and change furnace filters – Have your furnace inspected and see if it needs a tune-up. Dirty air filters can increase energy waste when your heater is running, so replace your filters at least once during the cold season.
  • Check and clean your chimney – Creosote buildup can be hazardous, and some animals may have even made a home in your chimney since the last time you used your fireplace. Check before you start building those cozy fires.
  • Clean gutters – Leaf deposits can clog your gutters and cause water damage from overflow and freezing.
  • Reinforce drafty doors and windows – From plastic window insulation to homemade draft snakes in doors, there are plenty of ways to keep drafts from seeping through your old doors and windows.
  • Keep an eye on your thermostat – Make sure your thermostat isn’t running on high when nobody is home. Get a programmable thermostat, and lower the heat the lowest temperature comfortable to save money on energy bills.

Your vehicle serves as your home on the go, so make sure you give it some extra attention when conditions get harsh in the winter months. Get your car ready by replacing old wiper blades, checking up on your tire pressure, making sure you have enough anti-freeze and changing your oil. It may also be helpful to consider installing winter tires if you live somewhere that requires you to drive through snow or ice regularly.