Are you prepared for the winter season ahead?

    We just experienced our first cold snap. Are you ready for the winter season ahead? While the first day of winter is not until December 21st, now is the time to prepare before the winter weather sets in for good. You’ll be glad you performed these quick and easy procedures to help winterize your home. Not only will you save time and money, but your house will feel more comfortable, as well.Huntsville Real Estate Agent

    1.Clean those gutters

    Now that the leaves are falling, be sure to remove them and other debris from your home’s gutters, and then finally give it a good hose rinse so that winter’s rain and melting snow can drain. Clogged drains can form ice dams, in which the water backs up, freezes and causes water to seep into the house, or gutter pipes to bust.

    2. Insulate yourself

    Adding insulation to the existing insulation in your attic can save you money in the long run. So how do you know if you need to add more insulation? Take a look in your attic, if the floor joists are visible then you should call an insulation expert for an opinion or estimate. We recommend our friends at Eagle Insulation. The professionals can determine if you have the correct amount of insulation needed. In most cases, you need a minimum of 9.5″ of insulation. However, it’s recommended to have 13.5″ of insulation of an R value of R-38. The R-38 value is what directly impacts a lower power bill.

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    Call Eagle Insulation today for a FREE estimate and inspection when you mention Amanda Howard Real Estate.

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    3. Reverse your ceiling fan

    Reversing your ceiling fan is a small tip that people don’t often think of when seasons change. Ceiling fans should rotate clockwise during the winter months. This way, the heat is evenly distributed throughout your rooms, as the fan pushes rising warm air down throughout the home.

    4. Alarm check

    This is a great time to check the operation of or change the batteries on your home’s smoke detectors. Fire officials recommend smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years. Test them with a small bit of actual smoke, and not just by pressing the “test” button.

    5. Insulate windows & doors

    Be sure to check windows and doors for drafts and efficiency. Heat can escape through small cracks and holes which can result in higher heating bills. One inexpensive and effective way to insulate is apply weather stripping. This is easy to install and protects the outer edges of your windows to help keep warm air inside and cold air out.

    6. Check your heating system

    Have a routine check done by a heating professional. Vacuum vents and replace furnace filters if needed. If you use a fireplace as an alternative heating method, be sure to have it inspected and cleaned for proper efficiency or unsafe conditions.

    7. Plumbing

    Plumbing is especially susceptible to cold weather and freezing. Burst pipes from freezing can cause some of the most expensive repairs in the home. Use an insulating pipe wrap on pipes to keep them functioning in freezing temperatures. To weatherproof your plumbing, shut off the supply of water to outdoor spigots, and sprinkler systems, then drain them. You’ll also want to consider an insulated cover for the hose bibb. And remember to disconnect your garden hoses from the sill cocks or outside faucets and drain them if you store them outside.

    8. Create a home emergency kit

    Make sure you have the following items on hand: indoor candles and matches/lighter, back‐up batteries, bottled water and non‐perishable food (including pet food, if you have a pet) blankets and a first‐aid kit, and an evacuation plan.

    9. Winterize your car

    For your safety, look over the following checklist to ensure you have these items covered to keep your car running smoothly during cold weather:

    • Make sure your engine has the correct antifreeze levels
    • Fill up on windshield wiper fluid (winter mix)
    • Have an ice scraper and brush readily available
    • Check tire pressure levels
    • General tune‐up (heater, brakes, exhaust, etc)

    10. Fire Extinguisher

    It’s important to check your fire extinguisher periodically to make sure it is functioning properly. The National Fire Protection Agency’s code says portable fire extinguishers should be inspected monthly and undergo thorough maintenance once a year. And while the yearly maintenance should be performed by a professional, you can perform the monthly checks. It’s easy. Check the label or user manual for maintenance suggestions. We’ve also included a few additional tips, courtesy of our friend Bo Cochran, with Bo Cochran Agency, LLC:

        • Location: It’s critical that your fire extinguisher is easy to access in the event of an emergency. You don’t want it blocked by furniture or other items.
        • Check the tamper seal: Extinguishers have a tamper seal to verify that they have not been interfered with. Check this seal during your inspection. If the seal is broken, someone may have tried to use the extinguisher. If so, it’s time to replace the extinguisher or have it professionally inspected
        • Look at the pull pin: Be certain the pull pin is still inserted in the handle. If the pin is missing, it’s a clear sign that the fire extinguisher has been tampered with or used and needs a professional inspection.
        • Check the pressure: Many fire extinguishers have a pressure gauge. If yours has one, ensure that the gauge’s needle indicates that the pressure is in the proper operating range. Most of the time, the correct pressure will be marked in green on the gauge.
        • Track the professional inspections: Your fire extinguisher should have a tag to record the annual professional inspections. Check this tag to be certain that an annual schedule is being maintained.

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    Fire Extinguisher tips provided by the Bo Cochran Agency, LLC (All State Insurance).

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    This Week’s Closings, Congratulations!

    Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Hambrick

    Ms. Shirley Culp

    Mr. and Mrs. Ryan Conner

    Mr. and Mrs. Sean Tortorano

    Mr. Jonathan Ivy

    Mr. and Mrs. Gene Cathey

    Mr. and Mrs. Kerrick Whisenant

    Mr. and Mrs. Dammeon Malone

    Mr. and Mrs. Kelvin Wyatt

    Mr. and Mrs. Bradley Davis

    Ms. Audria Thomas

    Ms. Celina Thomas

    Mr. and Mrs. Cameron Chunn

    Mr. and Mrs. Cody Moyers

    Ms. Adnan Elkhaldy

    Mr. Ronald M. Dickens

    Ms. Kimberlynn Knox

    Mr. and Mrs. Robert Rickard

    Ms. Karen Gentry

    Ms. Carltricia Hamilton

    Mr. Robert Davidson

    Mr. and Mrs. Thomas and Karen Pierce

    Mr. Louis Allegra, Jr.


    This Week’s New Listings For Sale:

    208 South Elton Circle, $157,000

    117 Cotton Hill Road, $159,900

    138 Lazy Oak Drive, $162,500

    261 Morning Star Drive, $176,900

    144 Hardiman Place Lane, $269,900

    134 Meadow Green Drive, $102,500

    7805 Michael Lane, $147,500

    24829 Bubba Trail, $165,000

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