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5 Mistakes to Avoid When Winterizing a House...

Winterizing a home is a necessary and important part of home ownership. If you are a home owner in the Cincinnati Ohio area, chances are you winterized your home several months ago, but if you want to be sure you avoid some common winterization mistakes, please continue reading.

1.) Outdoor Faucets

Don't think that just because your furnace is running and heating the interior of the home, that all your faucets are safe from freezing. Ignoring your outdoor faucets can lead to expensive damage if they freeze and burst during the winter. "Frost-free" faucets should not be ignored either. The best way to prevent this damage is to remove the garden hose, turn off any interior valves that supply those exterior faucets (if they exist), be sure to completely drain the pipes, and add a faucet protector.

2.) Thermostat

Not being familiar with your programmable thermostat settings is another common downfall that homeowners make. Most thermostats have timers, setting for temperature changes, and even settings for individual rooms (if their HVAC system is "zoned"), which may save the homeowner a lot of money if time is taken to learn to use the settings. It can be programmed according to the time that the owners are normally home, or to accommodate rooms that aren't normally used during the winter months ("zoned").

3.) Outdoor Furniture

Outdoor furniture, cushions, grills, etc. should not be left outdoors to be exposed to winter weather to avoid having to replace the items in the spring. Store items such as these indoors or at least in a garage or outdoor shed.

4.) Furnace Tune-Ups

A furnace is not a component of the home that should be ignored, unless or until there is a problem, regular maintenance is absolutely necessary. A disposable furnace filter needs to be changed regularly, usually once a month. A homeowner should get their furnace cleaned and tuned up at least once a year for best performance and optimal life span.

5.) Ceiling Fans

Often I find that people are not aware of this, but you can actually rotate the direction of most ceiling fans in the winter to help regulate the heat flow in your home. You want to be sure that your fans spin clockwise, the air will be forced downwards and warm air from the ceiling will be pulled towards the floor. This will reduce the strain on your furnace to evenly heat the home.

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