Stay Cozy This Winter with These Easy Ways to Winterize Your Home

Even though we are still in the midst of fall, winter is not far away. A little preparation to your home now will go a long way to keeping you warm and cozy through the winter. Read below for some easy ways to winterize your home.

  1. Change furnace filters. Changing the furnace filter every month is a quick and easy way to help your furnace work more efficiently. If you often forget, put a reminder in your calendar for the same day each month to help keep you on track.
  2. Reverse your fans. While ceiling fans may be looked at as a way to keep cool in the summer, don’t overlook their ability to circulate warm air in the winter. There should be an easy switch on the fan to reverse the direction of the blades so that warm air is pulled from the ceiling back down into the room.
  3. Winterize your A/C. If you have window units, now is a good time to remove them and get them stored for winter. For central A/C, check the pipes and look for a good cover that will keep debris and snow out of the unit.
  4. Shut off the water. Disconnect the garden hoses from the outside faucets and shut off the water to the outside. Make sure you then run the outside faucet to get any water left in the pipes out.
  5. Tune up your heating system. Performing periodic maintenance checks on your furnace will help you avoid a breakdown, which inevitably occurs on the coldest day of the year. Many utility companies provide free annual checkups, but call early in the season to ensure you can get on their calendars.
  6. Insulate your windows. If you have older windows it might be a good idea to look at installing window insulation kits to cut down on drafts. These kits contain plastic that is easy to fit and install, and done correctly, will be nearly invisible.
  7. Check the fireplace. Cozying up to the fire on a chilly day is a beautiful thing. Make sure your chimney is free of animal nests or creosote buildup by having an annual inspection before the first use.
  8. Program your thermostat. An easy way to watch energy expenditure is to install a programmable thermostat. You can customize your heating patterns and ensure you are not wasting energy when you are not home. Many thermostats are now considered “smart” and you can adjust the settings from your smartphone even when you are away.
  9. Protect your plants. Keep an eye on the weather and make sure you cover or bring in your plants before the first frost of the season. Typically, you should bring in any plants before temperatures head under 45 degrees.
  10. Clean your gutters. Spending a few minutes cleaning the gutters now can save you from large icicles and ice dams later. You can also pick up some covers for your gutters that will cut down or eliminate the need to manually clean them out each year.

The experts at Cambria® Mortgage™ are always available to provide guidance and answer questions about home ownership. For more information, visit or call 952-942-0110.

Seasonal Migration; Not Just for The Birds

As the weather takes a turn for the worse, the thought of getting away to a warmer climate becomes more appealing. The term “snowbird” is often used to describe those who migrate from colder climates to sunny locations for extended periods each year. Becoming a snowbird and owning a home in another state can provide more than just a respite from the cold. Read on for more about the benefits of being a snowbird.

Smart Ideas for Staying Warm: 5 Ways to Reduce Your Winter Energy Bill

If you’ve ever received a letter from your local energy company comparing your energy usage to your neighbors, you’ve probably wondered what you could be doing differently to save money. Here are five tips to help you reduce your energy costs while staying warm this winter.

Ready. Set. Entertain! Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday Season

As much as we look forward to the holidays, the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day can often feel like an endless round of decorating, cooking, and entertaining. To reduce stress and prevent holiday burnout, use these tips to make this season easy, enjoyable, and memorable.

Gift Giving Made Easy: Fun and Ingenious Ways to Streamline Your Holiday Shopping and Manage Your Budget

When it comes to holiday gifts, it really is the thought that counts. While it can be fun to indulge your family and friends with extravagant gifts, it’s not always necessary. With a little forethought and planning, it’s easy to manage your budget and impress your loved ones with cost-effective gifts that convey how much you care about them.

Get Your Garden Winter-Ready: 7 Easy Ideas for a Fall Weekend

Winter is a gardener’s friend, providing flowers, shrubs, and trees with a well-deserved opportunity to rest and rejuvenate after a lush, showy summer. To give your garden a jumpstart on next spring, spend a sunny fall weekend planting, mulching, and watering. With these autumnal preparations, your efforts will be rewarded next spring with a healthier, more beautiful landscape.

Getting Your House in Order: How to Build Your Own Home Repair Rolodex®

With cooler weather just around the corner, now’s a great time to get your personal Rolodex® of home service experts in order—before you actually need them. After all, the best time to call an electronics installer is before you buy the deluxe home entertainment system, and the worst time to find a friendly, cost-effective plumber is after your pipes have frozen. To help create your list of trusted home experts, here are some tips for finding the right people for each job.