11 Ways to Get Your Home Ready For Winter

1. Clean Your Gutters 

        Clean out the leaves and debris in your gutter 

        (I suggest wearing cleaning gloves if you’re  

        planning on doing it by hand). Clogged gutters  

        can cost you thousands of dollars if not done.  

        The water will find a way to get into your wall  

        and ceiling. Nobody is a fan of cleaning gutters, 

        but we all have to do it. Get rid of leaves, twigs,  

        and whatever else decided to land up there.  

        Once clean run water down the gutters. Check for leaks  

        and make sure that the water is running through 

        the downspouts. The water is supposed to flow 

        away from the house’s foundation, so it doesn’t         

        cause flooding and damage.  

2. Block Air Leaks 

        Air Leaks are also known as “Drafts”. Walk around the  

        house and try to feel where the cold air is coming from. 

        You’ll be able to feel it around windows and doors.  

        The most significant air leaks will be in your 

        basement and attic(since most people forget about them). 

        Common Air Leaks 

        *Behind Knee Walls 

        *Attic Hatch 

        *Wiring Holes 

        *Plumbing Vent 

        *Open Soffit 

        *Recessed Light 

        *Furnace Flue or Duct Chaseways, the hollow box or wall 

        feature that hides ducts 

        *Basement Rim Joists, where the foundation meets the 

        wood framing 

        *Windows and Doors 

        Make sure you block all of these and your home 

        will be easier to keep warm. Your gas bill should 

        also drop. 

3. Insulate 

        Yes it will cost a little bit, but it will save you 

        money in the long run. Adding insulation will pay 

        for itself when it reduces utility bills. 


4. Check The Furnace 

        Don’t wait till it’s really cold outside to turn on your 

        furnace. Check it now, make sure it’s working.  

        It’s natural for it to smell when you fire it up 

        for the first time this season. Open your windows  

        and let the house breath. If the smell lasts a long time 

        turn off the furnace and call a professional. 

        -Change your furnace filters regularly throughout Winter 

5. Check Your Ducts 

        Check for loose connections and joints that have come 

        apart. Look for rips or tears, or crushed ducts. 

        Make sure to also clean and inspect your vents around  

        the area it enters the room.  

6. Storm Windows 

        Take down your Screen Window, or side it to the side  

        depending on what type of windows you have. Then put in  

        or slide your Storm Windows. Simple, it should only 

        take a few minutes per window. 

7. Check Chimney 

        Use a flashlight, check for leaves, sticks, debris, or 

        dead animals. If it seems extremely dirty call a  

        professional. Chimney caps with screens keep animals, 

        and debris from falling in, I suggest you invest in one.         

8. Reverse Your Ceiling Fans 

        Appreciate your ceiling fan. Your fan has a reverse  

        button right by the blades. In Summer time your fan 

        should rotate Counterclockwise, which produces a cool  

        breeze. In Winter time, rotate Clockwise, it will  

        bring down the warm air that naturally rises to the top. 

9. Wrap Outside Pipes 

        Wrap outside pipes with tubular sleeves or fiberglass  

        insulation. Make sure you cover the sillcock. Turn off  

        the water, then remove your hose(put it away). Then  

        cover it with a towel, tie it around. Or purchase a  

        sillcock cover for the Winter. 

10. Turn Off Valves To Sillcocks 

        Even though you’ve already wrapped it for Winter,  

        you should still shut off the valve.  

11. Check Alarms 

        Change the batteries in your smoke alarms, make 

        sure it’s working properly

When Does Your Water Heater Need To Be Replaced?



Your Water Heater Might Need To Be Replaced

Residential and commercial water heaters were invented in 1889. Since then, we have been blessed with hot water in our homes. Living in Chicago, water heaters are one of the most important things we need on a freezing Winter morning. The average residential water heater is 40 gallons. Which is perfect for a household.

Water heaters, depending on which brand you have, last around 6 years. If you take care of your water heater you can make it last longer. Read the instructions manual that comes with your water heater. A couple important factors for making your water heater last longer are: 
  • Keeping your thermostat set at 120ºF (if you overheat your water heater it will wear down faster)
  • Having copper piping
  • Installing your water heater in a warm area, this way it doesn’t have to work harder to maintain it’s temperature. 


  • Check the age of your tank, it it’s beyond your warranty date you might need to have it looked at
  • Feel the water, if it’s cold when you turn on your “Hot”
  • Turning your water in the shower and it’s freezing 
  • Time how long your hot water lasts in the shower, if it’s a lot shorter than you’re use to
  • Check the floor around your water heater tank, look for puddles, streams of water, leaks around the base of the tank
  • Inspect the fittings and plumbing connections, look for water, sludge or corrosion
  • Listen to your tank for frequent noises

Five Things Every Home Owner Needs To Know And Have In Their Home



Keeping Up With Your Home

It is a second job keeping up with your home and making sure everything always functions correctly. Five things that every household needs to have and know how to do in your house. Hopefully most of you already have these things in your home. If not, get on it already. Trust me, better safe than sorry.



1. Flashlights, not just one. You need a few throughout your home, especially if you have several people in your home. Remember to have extra batteries.
2. You need to know where the circuit breaker is and how it works. Also if and when you lose power in certain parts of the house while you are using more than one appliance for example the coffee maker, and the blow drier you need to know why. Call an electrician.
4. Check for drafts in your house, fix them. It will save you money.
5. Disposing your burnt fire ashes. Place them in a old tin can.