Fall Cleanup - Leaves in GutterWith the holiday months in full swing and cooler temperatures on the way, now is a great time to winterize your home. Taking proper precautions can help save money on your monthly bills and also help your home function more efficiently. If you’re looking for a few simple weekend projects, here are some potential ones that won’t break the bank!

Reverse Your Ceiling Fan: Ceiling fans are a great way to keep your energy bills down during the summer, but did you know that they can also help you during the winter months? Most ceiling fans spin in two directions, and with the flip of a switch, yours could be helping to heat your house more efficiently. In the winter, change your ceiling fan to spin clockwise so it pushes warm air down.

Clean Your Gutters: It rains more during the winter months, so spend a weekend day cleaning your gutters. During the summer and fall, they can quickly become repositories for leaves and other debris that gets trapped in the downspouts. All you need is a garden hose and a ladder to make sure they’re able to expel rainwater, so make sure you take the time to flush them out.

Call The Chimney Sweep: Planning to use your wood-burning fireplace during the winter months? If so, put in a call to your chimney sweep now. They will come out and inspect your chimney, and also clear it of any creosote that has formed. This residue is highly flammable, and you could have a chimney fire if you don’t clean it out.

Inspect Your Windows: It’s important to inspect your windows to make sure your home is properly insulated and you’re not unexpectedly heating the entire neighborhood. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, home owners lose about 10 percent of air through their windows. Set aside a day to clean your windows, which will also give you the opportunity to inspect them. Caulking and weatherstripping are affordable fixes for a problem that will later materialize on your heating and electric bills anyway, not to mention leaking if a bad rain storm hits.