The temperatures are starting to drop & the smell of wood smoke is in the air. This means it's time to do a few things around the house to prepare your home for winter. Here are our top 5 recommendations:

1. Switch the direction of the ceiling fans. Most ceilings fans have a switch that rotates the blades to run clockwise - which pushes the air downward to create a nice breeze and counter clockwise - which sucks the air upward helping to distribute heat. The fans should be rotating clockwise when it's warm and counter clockwise when it's cool.

 2. Clean windows. Daylight is dwindling so get as much sunshine as you can! To clean off the dust, bugs & grime combine 1/4 cup white vinegar with 1/2 tsp Dawn dish soap & 2 Cups of water. Bright sunshine on winter's darkest days really makes this chore worthwhile. 

3. Get a chimney sweep to inspect your fireplace & clean it. Hire someone who knows wood-burning fireplaces. A professional chimney sweep will ensure your fireplace burns more efficiently and helps prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. So, it is very important! If you do not have a chimney cap, this is the time to add one to help prevent critters (like bats) from intruding into your house!

4. Insulate any exposed pipes. If you have ever dealt with a busted pipe, you know it is not fun at all. It's a wet disaster that is worth preventing. To avoid the stressful and usually expensive ordeal, install foam or heat tape to help keep the pipes warm. The most at-risk pipes are the ones in unheated areas like attics, crawl spaces & garages, so secure those first!