Here at MC Custom Homes we always try to inform our homeowners how to be proactive when preparing for the cold Chicago winters. So we put together a list a 10 easy things you can do to prevent any un-expected problems.

1. Remove outside hoses- Leaving hoses on outdoor spigots during the winter can cause the pipes to freeze and burst.

2. Program your thermostat-Programming your thermostat to lower automatically at times when you’re not home or asleep can significantly lower your heating bills.

3. Replace filters- Regularly changing your filters in your heating and cooling systems can improve efficiency and lower your bills.

4. Insulate windows- Even though most people dislike the look of putting window insulation up in your home doing this can keep up to 70% of your homes heat from leaking outside…. and keep your money in your wallet.

5. Clean your gutters- Keeping your gutters clean will allow the water to flow freely and prevent icicles and ice blocks from forming.

6. Flush your water heater- Particles and sediment can collect in your water heater over time making it less efficient. Flushing it out cleans it out and helps it to function at it best.

7. Clockwise ceiling fans- We’ve all heard that “heat rises,” right? Putting your ceiling fans on clockwise will help to push the ceiling heat from the ceiling down to the floor. This helps to more efficiently heat your home.

8. Flush Sprinkler System- Be sure to flush your sprinkler system before it gets too cold! If the water is left in the pipes it can freeze and cause a pipe to burst, so make sure this is done before the first freeze.

9. Insulate garage doors- Insulating your garage door will not only keep your garage much warmer, but it will also act as a barrier from outside noise.

10. Prepare for snow with salt and shovel- Purchase a shovel & salt ahead of time to prepare for the first snow!

Be sure to get most of these things done ahead of time to keep your home warm and cozy, and prevent any cold related problems from occurring. Have a safe winter and stay warm!