Is your home ready to be warm and efficient this winter? It is that time of the year again when temperatures are falling and the cold will be sticking around. That means it is time to start preparing your home.

Sheena Scott, with ACE Hardware in Madison, says that the biggest thing homeowners need to look out for are gaps around windows and doors. These gaps can let in cold air which makes it difficult for your heater to keep up. Even if your home is well insulated, there may still be gaps that have formed over time.

The best way to resolve this issue according to Scott is to re-caulk the gaps around the windows and to purchase weather stripping to go around doors. A professional can be hired to do the caulking job, or you can purchase the caulk and do it yourself.

Pipes are another thing to consider as temperatures begin to drop. Exposed pipes should be insulated from the cold to keep them from bursting. There are multiple ways to insulate pipes depending on the type of pipe and where they are located. Pipe wrap and foam can protect exposed piping around the house. There are even heating cables that help keep pipes warm in cold conditions.

One of the biggest plumbing concerns during the winter is any outdoor faucets or spigots. Scott says that the easiest way to protect these outdoor faucets from freezing is by purchasing and installing a faucet protector. She says that the hard-covered ones can be kept and reused every year.

One last thing to watch out for are gaps around your plumbing and the brick. Scott suggests using a foam-insulating gap filler to resolve these gaps. For the bigger brick gaps on the outside, Scott recommends using a window and door gap filler.

Be sure to keep this all in mind as you prepare your home for the upcoming winter months. If you take the steps to prepare your home now, then it will be able to efficiently keep you warm over the coming months.