It won’t be long now. The end of the year speeds up through the Holiday’s and before you know it, the dreaded winter chill will be here to stay for a few months.

While the Carolinas don’t experience ‘winter’ like Minneapolis or Chicago, the falling temperatures are cold enough to do damage to your home if you don’t take precautions.

Here’s a homeowner checklist to help you winterize your home.

1. Insulate

Protect against frozen pipes by insulating those that could be at risk of freezing. 

Replace any missing fiberglass insulation in the attic. You need a minimum of 12 inches of insulation in your attic.

2. Fire it up

Before turning on your fireplace this winter, have it inspected for soot buildup and debris. If you don’t plan to use the fireplace, plug it up with a chimney balloon so warm air doesn’t escape out. 

3. Seal the cracks

Drafty doors or leaks around windows can increase heating costs. Caulk around holes and windows to help prevent cold air from seeping in. Install weather shipping around windows and doors to seal them tight.

4. Flip your fans

Time to switch those ceiling fans to move in a clockwise direction. That way they will push the hot air near the ceiling towards the floor. If they’re going counterclockwise, they won’t be as effective.

5. Check the thermostat

The US Department of Energy says you can save as much as 1% on your energy bill for every degree you lower your home’s temperature during the winter. So get out a sweater to beat the chill and resist the temptation to keep your home toasty warm. Consider a programmable thermostat to help  you save money by keeping the temp down when you’re not at home. 

6. Have heating checked

Ensure your furnaces will run smoothly and keep you cozy all winter by having the system checked. Regular heating checks also helps to ensure that your system is running efficiently. While you are at it, don’t forget to change the filter inside your home. 

7. Test your detectors

Did you know that December and January are peak months for residential fires? Check smoke detectors, and fire extinguishers.

8. Disconnect the hose

Remove any attached garden hoses, drain them and find a nice place in the garage for them to live for the next few months. Save yourself a headache down the road by insulating the faucet to protect it from freezing.

9. Trim the trees

Now’s a good time to remove dead branches and debris from your yard. Ice, snow and wind can weaken trees and cause branches to fall

10. Cover up the grill

Mother Nature’s wintery blast can damage your grill. Give it a final cleaning and then cover it up. Make sure to shut off the gas and disconnect the tank.

Every season is a good season to review your homeowner’s insurance policy and make sure you have the correct coverage.