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Photo by YAXZONE, http://www.flickr.com/photos/yaxzone/1813207421 Photo by YAXZONE, http://www.flickr.com/photos/yaxzone/1813207421

By Scott Livingston, National Sales Manager

I love Halloween with the family and with it brings fall decorations for my wife, trick or treating for my kids and winterizing projects for dad. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy carving pumpkins, watching the princesses and goblins come by for candy and receiving all the “Almond Joys” that my kids won’t eat. But when the candy highs subside and the jack-o-lanterns are smashed, it is time for me to get the house ready for winter.

Winterizing for me usually includes five projects, but this year I have added a sixth. First, I must disconnect the hoses from our outdoor lawn faucets. While this is a very simple project, it is very important because leaving a hose or another close ended device on the spigot will trap water in the valve and cause freezing and a burst pipe. Morgan Miller Plumbing in Kansas City did a nice job of explaining what happens when you don’t disconnect your hose for freezing temperatures.

The second project isn’t as easy but is just as important. I clean the gutters and downspouts from the leaves and debris. This year my plan is to install leaf guards to prevent the leaves from gathering in the gutters every year. This is a relatively inexpensive way to save a lot of work on a ladder every fall and spring. If you don’t clear the gutters, the water will clog and run over the downspouts and pool by your foundation. As the plumber in the Morgan Miller video showed, this water near the foundation can lead to big problems in our Midwestern basements. 

My third project involves detecting and eliminating the drafts inside the home. The most common are around the doors and windows. For our home, we put door sweeps at the base of the doors and also check all of the insulation around the windows. Over the past several years we have replaced the draftier windows and continue to check where we may find drafts. Any crack on the outside is worth sealing with caulk as it will save on energy costs and prevent insects from coming in. 

The fourth and fifth projects are on the inside and really are pretty simple to do as well. Halloween is when I replace the furnace air filter and check up on the furnace. This $7-10 filter will last all winter (I like to use the better ones that last three months or more) and will keep our family breathing easier and keep energy costs down as well. Another simple task is to reverse the ceiling fans so that they circulate the hot air down. This is a simple reverse switch on the fan that can make a difference (in winter if you are looking up at the fan, the blades should be going clockwise). 

The last and most important project I can do this fall for my home, my family and my country is to VOTE! It is our responsibility to our country to VOTE and express our educated opinions! PLEASE VOTE!

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