Winter is fast approaching, and you all know what that means – more rain, ice, and snow. If you live in an area that has a very defined winter season, it is, then, important that you take precautions to protect your home from the elements and make it as safe as, well, as safe as houses, not to mention as comfortable as possible, for the sake of you and your family and your bank balance!

To help you get started (and now is the time to do that), here are some of the most important things you need to do to prepare your home for the coming season:

Install Weather Stripping

Installing weather stripping now, before winter rears his chilly head, is imminently sensible if you want to avoid huge heating bills and freezing days and nights throughout winter.

First, go round your home inspecting it for any areas where cold air is leaking through from outdoors. You should do this while indoors, and if at all possible, using a thermal gun to detect cold spots. If you can’t-do that, then go low-tech with a candle, holding it around door and window frames to see if it blows, thus indicating a draft.

Once you’ve identified any leaks, it’s time to install weatherstripping (foam or felt is fine) in the affected areas. You can do this yourself, but if you really aren’t confident, you could get a contractor to do it for you.

Insulate Pipes

If you don’t want to be dealing with an expensive water damage repair come December, you need to insulate your pipes ahead of winter, so that they don’t burst and cause all manner of carnage to your home. The pipes in your attic and crawlspace are particularly susceptible to bursting and will often cause the most damage if they do, so make sure that you cover them with a generous layer of foam.

Clean Out Your Drains and Gutters

If winter, where you are, means a deluge of rain, you really should be putting your rubber gloves on, getting your ladder out and cleaning your drains and gutters. Removing leaves and other debris from these two areas will help to ensure that, even if you are hit with a lot of rainfall, your property won’t be flooded or damaged and you won’t have to call out an emergency foundation repair contractor! It’s worth doing just for the peace of mind that it brings alone!

Install Insulation

Insulation in the walls, or at least in the attic space, will help to keep your room warmer for less in the winter, and cooler when summer comes around, so it is really a year-long money saver and something you should think about installing right now if you want to be comfy in winter. It’s pretty affordable too!

Shut the Damper

Closing your fireplace damper whenever you’ve finished using the fireplace and it has cooled down is a great way to keep the heat in your home. Obviously, you can’t-do this in advance because the flue needs to be open every time you use the fireplace, but if you get into the habit of closing it now, it will be second nature by the time winter rolls around, and it becomes even more important.

Doing these fairly simple things will save you money, increase your comfort and protect your home this winter, which is why you should very seriously consider their merits.