We all know it, but have been afraid to utter it, for fear of jinxing it and making it worse. Fall has arrived colder and faster than usual. Snow is already falling in Cascades. Shorts are being put away and sweaters are being de-pilled. What’s next….winter?

Looks like Winter 2011 will be here sooner than later, so now is the time to start prepping your home. Here are a few important winterizing tips you will probably need for your home. This is nowhere near comprehensive, but should be a good start.

  • Weatherstrip your doors and caulk your windows.
  • Get up on that roof and make sure flashing is secure and see if there are any loose shingles. Clean out those gutters, and cut away any tree branches that might pose a risk to your roof.
  • Change your furnace filters and get a furnace inspection.
  • Clean the chimney, make sure the damper works, and check the cap.
  • Install your storm windows. Those windows in the basement need their plastic shields. Cracked window glass should be replaced.
  • Insulate exposed exterior pipes and seal up and cracks or other outside exposure.
  • Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order and have new batteries.
  • Seal up cracks and entry points to the foundation and crawlspace. Ensure moist soil isn’t in direct contact with the foundation.
  • If you are going away for a short period, keep your heater on at a low temperature (maybe about 60 degrees). If you are going away for an extended amount of time, consider having your home professionally winterized.

Let’s all admit that winter is coming. Embrace it. Stock up on firewood or heating oil before prices go up. And, get a nice crock of soup or chili going on the stovetop.

Oh, and come stock up on books to read for the winter. I volunteer with the Friends of the Library, and the huge annual book sale is Halloween weekend. See you there!