Prepare your home for the colder months

Inspect tree branches -
Check your property for any branches growing over the house, garage, driveway, or power lines. Those could cause major damage during a storm.

Clean out the gutters -
If your gutters are clogged with leaves, the debris could freeze into a big, icy mass, and damage the roof. Make sure you clean them out.

Cut back perennials -
Perennials are plants that shed their leaves annually. And while it's fine to keep some that look nice in winter, most need a trim.

Drain sprinklers -
If you have an outdoor sprinkler system, remove any residual water before the first freeze. 

Mulch flower beds -
Before the cold temperature hits, add a layer of hardwood mulch to all your flower beds. It will act as insulation. 

Look after your pipes -
As the cold weather sets in, the water inside can freeze and cause the pipes to crack. This is especially the case when temperatures drop below 32°F (0°C).

Ventilate your place -
It is extremely important to ventilate your home. Ventilation stops condensation, which in turn stops damp and mold from forming.

Block window drafts -
By blocking drafts, you can increase your home's energy efficiency. For windows, use weather stripping around the frame, or window film kits on the glass.

Have the furnace checked -
Hire a professional to check your furnace. To keep the appliance running well, inspect the filter monthly, and replace it when it turns brown or black.

Service your boiler -
You can do this yourself if you have a boiler manual. But for the ultimate peace of mind, contact a professional.

Check for any door draft -
Just like windows, doors are also susceptible to drafts. Check whether there are any gaps, so you can seal them.

Introduce layers of texture -
It's time to embrace cozy decor. Of course, you don't have to redecorate. But a cozy throw and a few new cushions can make all the difference.

Locate your stopcock -
Knowing where your stopcock is will be essential in case of emergencies, such as burst pipes.

Get your outdoor space ready -
It's a good idea to get your garden clean and ready for winter. Secure anything that could be swept away by the wind, such as greenhouses or plant pots.

Mulch leaves when you mow -
The trick is to cut the leaves, while dry, into small pieces that will fall among the grass blades. 

Check your outdoor lights -
Be sure you always have a well-lit route around your house, especially in winter when there's less sunlight. Check that your outdoor lights are in working order.

Clean and service air conditioning units - According to professionals, you should clean or replace your air conditioning system's filter every two months during each season. 

Cover up hard floor -
If you have hard floors, rugs are an easy and practical way to make your home more comfortable during winter. 

Brush up on your home security -
To be extra protected against any burglaries, check that your doors, fences, and gates are all working properly and are secured.

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