As a homeowner, I’ve already had to turn up the heater, which means just one thing…winter will soon be here! And with the changing of seasons it means that it’s the best time to get our homes ready for what winter may have in store for us. Below are a few things you can do to prepare your home for winter:

-Check your heater vents, clean or replace filters and have your heater serviced. Did you know that by having a clean filter on your furnace you can save anywhere between 5 to 15 percent on heating expenses.

Thermal insulation, house energy efficiency concept isolated on white

-Wrap up pipes and water heater if applicable. Pipes that are insulated are much more efficient and allow you to save not only energy, but also money.

-Change batteries in all smoke detectors. One easy way to remember is to switch out batteries when the time changes.

-Inspect outdoor plants. Move potted plants inside if necessary and cover any other plants that will not survive frost and other harsh winter conditions.

-Store outdoor furniture. Because of the Smith Mountain Lake lifestyle, we are all guilty and maybe having too much outdoor furniture. Before winter hits consider moving the furniture into storage or cover it if leaving it outside.

-Insulate the attic. On average, most homes require between 12 to 15 inches of insulation in the attic. If your home doesn’t have enough insulation then, you are spending more money on heating bills, and you are using energy inefficiently.

Lake living isn’t just about winterizing the home as we also have to take into account winterizing docks and lake toys such as boats and jet-skis. While I hope that a mild winter is in store for us here at the lake, it never hurts to be overly prepared!