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The time has come again to hunker down for the winter, and that means making sure all the details are taken care of around your home. If you’ve lived in the same place for a number of years, you probably have it down to a routine, but if you’re in a new place this season, it’s time to create a new checklist.

Five details in particular that you should consider before the snow starts to fall and the water around your place starts to freeze are how well your pool or other outdoor items are secured, if your garage is organized, if your pipes are insulated, if there are any leaks in your major appliances, and if you’ve changed your furnace filter recently.

Secure Your Pool

If you have a pool, there are safety precautions that you need to take when it’s in use during the summer of course, but you also have to pay attention and make sure that it’s safe in the winter when it’s not in use as well. Make sure the pool fence is secure and locked. Make sure that if someone was around the pool by accident and fell in, the pool cover won’t create a drowning hazard depending on the temperature and state of the water inside.

Organize Your Garage

Nobody wants a messy garage when it’s cold in the winter, so you can’t find your snow shovel and ice pick. Seriously, before the cold hits, organize your garage. Not only will you be able to find things better, you’ll also feel like you’ve accomplished something to decrease the amount of entropy in your life.

Protect Your Pipes

If you’re somewhere that it’s cold enough to snow, then you’re somewhere that you should pay attention to any plumbing that has a chance to freeze. Dealing with frozen pipes, or ones that burst eventually, is a gigantic and expensive pain, and if you had just insulated those pipes with some cheap foam, you could have avoided the whole trouble in the first place.

Check For Leaks

Check everything that you have for leaks before the winter hits. Check pipes. Check appliances. Check the water heater. Check the roof! Anywhere there is water or a chance for liquids to move from where they’re supposed to be to somewhere they’re not supposed to be – that’s where you want to do your inspection and correction.

Change Your Furnace Filter

If your furnace is going to be running, and it has any kind of air intake or outgo path, be sure that you replace your filter. They aren’t that expensive, but they can make a huge difference when it comes to the quality of your indoor air after your heat gets rolling for the chilly season.

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