Snow, your driveway and de-icers

Freezing weather, snow, and rapid melt/freeze cycles can cause driveways and sidewalks to build up with ice. De-icers and anti-icers contain chemicals that can break the bond between ice and your driveway/sidewalk, but you still need to shovel! They are not designed to melt large areas of ice. These products can be toxic to the environment and corrosive to your driveway concrete, so it’s important to apply them sparingly and according to package instructions.

5 Steps to Winterize Your Home

Prepare your home for winter by following these 5 easy steps. Preparation now can ensure your home stays safe and more energy efficient throughout the winter months.
1. Clean your gutters: Cleaning out your gutters is an essential step in winterizing your home. If left unmaintained your gutters, foundation and ceiling can be damaged. Take the time before the snow falls to clean the debris from your gutters.

2. Replace your furnace filter: Replacing your furnace filter at the start of the winter months will make your furnace run more efficiently. This can save you money throughout the winter months, helps with your home energy efficiently and keeps dust down. Low-end furnace filters should be replaced every month with higher quality filters needed replacement about every 3 months.

3. Install a programmable thermostat: Whether you use a fancy thermostat like The Nest that can be controlled from your smart phone, or a more simple product from your local hardware store, having a programmable thermostat will save you money throughout the winter by turning down the heat at night and during times you are not at home. This is an easy and cost-effective way to "green" your home.

4. Check your insulation: Insulation is a critical feature in keeping homes warm and the most overlooked. Because it is typically installed prior to purchase, home buyers rarely inspect. Inspect your insulation in your attic space to make sure it is covering your attic and free from damage, mold, and pests. To make your home more energy efficient consider updating old or damaged insulation.

5. Insulate your windows and doors: Doors and windows can constantly leak heat and let in cold air during the winter months. Check all of your doors and windows for leaks. Caulking and/or weather stripping can be used to reduce heat leaking. Stores like Bed, Bath & Beyond also sell aesthetically pleasing under door and window seals.