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Preparing for Winter: Savings and Safety

Like the ant said to the grasshopper. It’s good to prepare for winter. While this parable is from an ancient Aesop's Fable, preparing for winter is still a good idea today. Here are some things to consider, especially for those of you who live in colder climates.

Lock Windows: Newer windows especially, form a better seal when they are locked. Doing this can help keep the cold out.

Fix or Block Drafts: If you feel a draft coming in around the windows or doors, get it fixed or find a way to block it. This can save you money on your winter heating bills.

Check and Replace Furnace Filters: Furnace filters remove contaminants from the air and become dirty over time. Filters need to be changed regularly. Check the instructions on your furnace filter packaging to see how often. Some filters are rated for 30 days of usage while others are rated for longer.

Have Your Furnace Serviced: If you have an older furnace, having it inspected and serviced is a good idea. According to Angie’s List “If your inspection includes a furnace tune up, sometimes known as a furnace cleaning, that typically costs an average of about $60 to $85.” This keeps your furnace running efficiently and helps avoid breakdowns in the dead of winter.

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Check the Chimney: Chimneys should be checked annually and cleaned at least once a year if you use a wood burning fireplace regularly. This helps to avoid chimney fires and other possible issues.

Smoke Detector Batteries: When the temperatures fall, the number of house fires increases. It’s a good time to replace batteries in your smoke detectors.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Replace the battery in your carbon monoxide detector. If you don’t have one, consider buying one. Furnaces and fireplaces that are not working correctly can cause carbon monoxide to build up in your home. This gas is a silent killer. Detectors are relatively inexpensive and well worth the money to keep you and your family safe.

Snow Blowers and Shovels: If you own a snow blower, do any necessary maintenance ahead of time such as oil changes, making sure it will start, etc. You don’t want to be stuck in the middle of a blizzard with a non-starting snow blower. If you shovel, make sure snow shovels are in an easily accessible place before the first flakes start to come down.

Prepare for the snow before it falls and you’ll have a safer and warmer winter.

Be Careful: It's Back to School Time

Can you believe it’s back to school time already? Where did the summer vacation go? Even if you don’t have kids in school, and are not in school yourself, it can affect you. More children will be on the roads and sidewalks in the morning and... read more