The dog days of summer are definitely over; ready or not, Old Man Winter is just around the corner. Preparing your home for the Colorado winter is a must.

While the changing seasons may bring thoughts of cozy evenings by the fire, the truth is the cold Colorado weather can wreak havoc on your home if not prepared properly. In order to combat single-digit temperatures and winter precipitation, now is the perfect time to check out your home and prepare for those colder months ahead.

Here are our best tips for preparing your home (and your wallet!) for the Colorado winter.

Service Your Heating System

Proper maintenance is required if you want your heating system to stand the test of time. At the very least, you should change your filters when the air starts to get cold. But the best solution is to have your system professionally serviced by an HVAC company. They will not only check your system for efficiency, but they will clean the system, check the air pump, and make sure carbon monoxide levels are what they should be. Best yet, they’ll give the system a good test run. It’s far better to feel a little chilly in the fall if there’s a problem that needs attention than finding it on the coldest day of the year.

Service Your Fireplace and Chimney

While you’re having your heating system checked, don’t neglect to have your fireplace and chimney inspected by a professional as well. A dirty or malfunctioning fireplace or chimney is a common source of house fires. Make sure your inspector checks that all the bricks in the chimney are secure and sealed to prevent water from leaking in. Additionally, make sure the cap is well placed to keep heat-seeking animals out.

Protect Your Indoor Pipes

When pipes freeze in the winter, they can easily burst, leaving your home damaged and your wallet empty. However, for as little as 50 cents a foot, you can install pipe insulation on any exposed copper or PVC water pipe that might endure the colder temperatures. These spaces include basements, attics, and crawl spaces.

Make Sure Your Attic is Well Insulated

As anyone who has paid a heating bill in the past few years can attest, it is not cheap to heat your home when you live in a cold winter climate. That’s why proper insulation is important, especially in places like the attic where you lose a lot of heat. Spending the money on properly insulating your attic will save you money in the long run by keeping heat out of the attic and keeping it in the living areas where it belongs.

Check Your Roof

Whether it’s rain or melting snow that makes the wintery months wet in your area, make sure your roof is prepared to withstand it without leaking. Check for loose shingles or other areas where leaks might be able to get in and do more damage. If you have a flat roof, ensure you’ve cleared all debris such as leaves from the surface so they can’t hold moisture on your roof.

Clean and Inspect Gutters

While you’re on the ladder to check your roof, it’s also time to check your gutters. Make sure your gutters are in good working order. Also, make sure they are cleaned of any debris like fallen leaves. That way when the rain or melting snow needs somewhere to go, it has a clear path.

Shutdown or Drain Outdoor Water Systems

If you have an outdoor sprinkler system, it should be shut down properly before having a chance to freeze in cold temperatures. The cost of a professional company coming out to blow out the line is by far more economical than replacing the broken line after the big thaw. If you have outdoor faucets, you should also take the time to drain the line to prevent freezing and subsequent flooding.

Stock Up on Winter Essentials

Make sure you have plenty of supplies to see you through the winter before it even begins to avoid runs on products before a big storm. That means you should check the condition of your shovels or snow blower and make sure you have plenty of salt to make pathways secure.

Need more tips for how to be the best homeowner and protect your investment? Check out the Cedar Home Loans blog for more helpful articles concerning all things homeownership in Colorado!