8 ways to winterize your home and save money

Winter weather can wreak havoc on the home with costly repairs and sky-high heating prices.

Knowing how to prepare your home and what signs to look for can help you save money and keep your family safe.

And if winter is taking a toll on your heating system, American Water Resources is here to help.

Consider enrolling in the Heating System Repair Program to keep your home cozy this winter, offered by American Water Resources, a leading provider of home warranty protection.

1. Winterize your exterior faucets


Make sure to drain any water from both the hose and the faucet to prevent frozen/burst pipes. Also make sure to protect water lines running through the home that aren't heated, such as pipes in the garage or attic. Adding another layer of insulation to the pipes could prevent future issues. Finally, you won't be using your garden hose anytime soon, so disconnect it from the faucet and store it until spring.

2. Check for drafts


Drafty windows, vents and door frames can cause heat to escape the home, producing higher heating prices. Add weather stripping, insulation or caulking to problematic areas to stem the loss of heated air.

3. Keep those gutters clean


Clogged gutters can lead to dangerous icicles or ice dams. And when those dams melt, they can cause water to back up into the home and potentially cause serious damage to the home's roof, gutter and foundation.

4. Be prepared


Keep an emergency kit handy and stocked with non-perishable food items, blankets, flashlights, batteries, matches or lighters, drinking water, a fire extinguisher and a first aid kit.

5. Reverse your ceiling fans


With the heat on, hit the reverse switch on your ceiling fan to produce a draft that will push air down into the room. This will allow you to turn down the thermostat leading to energy savings.

6. Get up on the roof


Inspect your roof for loose, damaged or missing shingles, which could cause leaking into the home as snow melts. Also assess the area around chimneys and vent stacks.

7. Locate your winter tools


Keep shovels, melting salt and snow blowers in an easily accessible location. Clear snow and ice from the home's foundation and heavily trafficked areas (i.e. walkways, driveways).

8. Use a fireplace when applicable


A fireplace will help heat the home at a fraction of the price. Ensure the damper is operational (opens, closes and seals properly) and store firewood in a dry place away from the home to avoid fire hazard.

Learn more helpful homeowner tips and how to keep your home protected from the cost of unexpected home repairs at AWRUSA.com/details.
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