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How to prepare your home ahead of a winter storm

Posted on Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 1:48:34 PM

Winter is finally here, and for many homeowners, now is the last opportunity to shore up a property in preparation for the coming snow. Thankfully, there are a number of steps you can take today to improve the safety and security of your home.

For example, generator company Generac explained that many changes you can make are actually quite simple, and don't require a significant investment of time or money.

Recently, Daniel Murphy, of Home Loan Investment Bank, offered some tips to winterize your home.

"The winter season is a busy time of year," he explained. "In a matter of weeks a homeowner will go from maintaining their lawn and yard to having to pack up the yard and winterize the exterior and interior of their home. Time is a commodity as well, with shorter days, unfavorable weather and of course, the holidays and family gatherings."

Here are four steps you can take, according to Murphy:

1. Install a ceiling fan
"Ceiling fans help to distribute air throughout the house more evenly and help to keep hot air from rising up and out of the home," Murphy stated. "Be sure to turn the motor on reverse during the winter to draw air upwards instead of pushing it down."

2. Adjust your thermostat
"Turn the heat down at night and when no one is home," Murphy noted. "Turning the heat down several degrees - to say 60 degrees - will make a big difference and by spending a few dollars you can purchase and install a programmable thermostat to avoid having to do it manually."

3. Routine maintenance
"Regular maintenance of your furnace and heating system will help ensure that it is working properly and efficiently," he added. "The basic filters for these systems are generally easy and inexpensive to replace, but scheduling an annual cleaning and inspection from a professional is important as well. Many HVAC service providers can also build into their service visit a quick inspection of your hot water heater and your air conditioner as well to help save on appointment costs."

4. Run the water
"Run the water in your home regularly, especially if you have seldom-used faucets or bathrooms," Murphy pointed out. "This will help maintain proper pressure in the pipes and aid in preventing freezing and bursting."

Finally, Murphy suggested that you research an energy audit. Once completed, you will learn about all the areas in your home that could use an upgrade. However, be prepared to hear that something needs to be replaced altogether.

While many options are affordable, you might want some financial assistance as you winterize your home. If this is the case, consider home improvement financing from Home Loan Investment Bank for your next project.