As the DC region continues to clean up from last week’s winter storm with more snow in the forecast, there are several steps you can take to make sure your home will be in top shape for the rest of the season!

1. Protect your pipes by draining water from all outdoor faucets and covering them with foam insulators; disconnecting outdoor hoses; insulating water pipes that run through unheated areas of your home, such as in the attic, basement, or garage. You should also take note of where your water shutoff valve is located in the home so that you can shut the water off in the event of an emergency.

2. Change your furnace filter every 2-4 months and consider installing a programmable thermostat if you don’t already have one. If you have ceiling fans, setting the blades to turn clockwise can circulate warm air from the ceiling down into the room.

3. Check around vent pipes, exhaust fans, chimneys, attic hatches and light fixtures for any places that may allow warm air to leak from your home into your attic; seal any areas you find.

4. Clean out gutters. If you’ve had problems with ice dams before, install snow and ice slides to prevent bonding to your roof. You can also hire a roofer to install a heat cable along the eaves to melt ice.

5. Stock up on cold-weather essentials, including a working, fully charged fire extinguisher; an alternative heat source, such as a fireplace or generator; sand, ice melt, and a shovel.

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