Fall is well underway, that means one thing, winter is right around the corner. This means it’s about that time to prepare your home for the cold winter. Don’t worry, for many of these steps, there’s no need to hire a contractor, you can actually do a number of them on your own! These steps will be extremely important in lowering your utility bills and protect your investment.

Tune Up Your Heating System

For around $100 a technician will inspect your furnace or heat pump to be sure the system is clean and in good repair, and that it can achieve its manufacturer-rated efficiency. The inspection also measures carbon-monoxide leakage. If you act soon, you’ll minimize the chance of being 150th in a long line of customers needing repair. When looking for a contractor, be sure to find one that belongs to the Air Conditioning Contractors of America.

Reverse Your Ceiling Fans

If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch, use it to run the fan’s blades in a clockwise direction after you turn on your heat. According to energy star, the fan will produce enough of an updraft and push down into the room heated air from the ceiling since hot air rises. This is especially helpful for rooms with high ceilings.

Prevent Ice Dams

Last winter was particularly brutal and because of the extreme cold and snow, you most likely noticed a number of homes with massive icicles and even worse, ice dams. A home-energy auditor or winterization contractor can identify and fix air leaks and inadequate insulation in your home’s attic that can lead to ice dams.

Caulk Around Windows and Doors

If the gaps between siding and window or door frames are bigger than the width of a nickel, you should apply caulk. Silicone caulk is best for exterior use because it won’t shrink and it’s impervious to the elements. Additionally, you can add weatherstripping around doors, be sure you cannot see any daylight from inside your home.

Prepare to Stow Your Mower

As the mower sits through the winter, fuel remaining in its engine will decompose, “varnishing” the carburetor and causing difficulty when you try to start the engine in the spring. Adding stabilizers to your fuel helps keep the gas fresh longer, if you haven’t added it yet, will the tank to the top and let it run for a bit so the fuel stabilizer circulates.

Don’t wait for the first winter storm to tackle these projects. These steps can help keep money in your pocket as it will lower your energy bill!