Prepare Your Home For Winter

P: Taylored Restoration

P: Taylored Restoration

Baby, it’s cold outside! The dreaded polar vortex has made it’s first unwelcome appearance in our neck of the woods, which means it’s time to get your home ready to weather the winter months.

You want to keep your home warm and toasty inside, but winterizing isn’t just about staying warm. By investing some time and energy of your own to prep your home, you will end up saving in energy costs. Preparing your home for the cold winter months will also save you the unexpected headaches of busted pipes or a failing furnace.

Follow our winter prep checklist to get your home ready for the deep freeze:

Clean your gutters. Water should be able to flow freely now to help prevent icicles and ice dams from forming later.

Change your furnace filter. Regularly replacing the filter can significantly improve its efficiency and longevity.

Invest in a programmable thermostat. Install a programmable thermostat and save money by setting the temperature lower while you are away or asleep. The US Department of Energy says that you can save as much as 1% on your energy bill for every degree you lower your home’s temperature in the winter.

Check for drafts. Cold air can easily leak in through windows, doors or any additional exterior gaps. Here are a few fixes:

  • Window insulation film – if you take the time to do it correctly, it won’t look tacky and will significantly lower your heating bill
  • Weatherstrip tape – simple and easy, seal your windows and doors tightly with weatherstripping
  • Caulk – fill any remaining gaps in siding, windows or doors with caulk
P: Better Homes and Gardens

P: Better Homes and Gardens

Reverse your ceiling fan. Having fan blades move in a clockwise direction will push the warm air back down to reheat the space.

Inspect your chimney. If you have a fireplace or wood stove with a chimney, check it for creosote buildup and have it cleaned if necessary. Also look for any blockages like bird nests.

Local Spotlight: Burlington

P: Vermont Photo Mag

P: Vermont Photo Mag

Whenever you tell someone you live in Vermont the first question you usually get is, “Oh, are you near Burlington?” Burlington has got to be the most well-known city in the state, which is no wonder since it is also the largest.

Situated on the eastern shoreline of Lake Champlain, Burlington offers a picturesque setting for picnics in Waterfront Park, scenic cruises on the Spirit of Ethan Allen and seasonal lakefront dining at Splash or Breakwater Cafe and Grill. Head over to North Beach (you can take the bike path!) for some fun in the sun – rent a kayak or stand-up paddle board and get out on the lake.

P: urbanscale.com

P: urbanscale.com

After spending time on the lakefront, make your way up to the Church Street Marketplace to do a little shopping. Along the brick-lined street you will find more than 100 shops with everything from high-end fashions and jewelry to VT made crafts and arts. Some of our favorites:

  • Frog Hollow – features the work of local VT artists including paintings, jewelry, pottery and sculptures
  • Lake Champlain Chocolates – delicious handcrafted chocolates, try the fudge or their hot chocolate
  • Outdoor Gear Exchange – find all the gear you could possibly need for any VT outdoor adventure
  • Apple Mountain – all of the Vermont products you’re looking for: maple syrup and candy, specialty foods, Vermont tees and hoodies and souvenirs

All of that walking and shopping will really work up an appetite, and there are plenty of restaurants to choose from downtown. A few not to miss:

  • Leunig’s –  a piece of Paris in downtown Burlington, a great spot for people-watching when you can dine al fresco
  • Vermont Pub & Brewery – VT’s oldest craft brewery with awesome beers and pub style food
  • Penny Cluse Cafe – awesome breakfast, make sure you get in early to grab a seat
  • Skinny Pancake – yummy savory or sweet crepes, try the Lovemaker with Nutella, strawberries and whipped cream
P: thefreegeorge.com

P: thefreegeorge.com

There are also some great options for entertainment – catch some live music at Nectar’s and grab a plate of their famous late night gravy fries. The Flynn hosts a number of live performances including plays, operas, ballets and comedians. ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center features permanent and traveling exhibits, with lots of hands-on activities for the kids.

And if that’s not enough, there are lots of local events to check out throughout the year – Discover Jazz Festival, Vermont Brewer’s Festival, South End Art Hop, and Magic Hat Mardi Gras just to name a few. Also not to be missed – the Burlington Farmers’ Market is held outdoors in City Hall Park during the warmer months and is a great spot to find local foods, treats and locally made crafts.

With so much to see and experience, it’s no surprise that Burlington consistently lands in the top places to live!