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Tips for preparing your home for winter

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REDDING, Calif. - It may be a day's work and could cost up to $60.00 total to do these tasks, but that's a small price to pay compared to the repercussions that could come if you don't prepare your home for winter.

Victor Russo at Orchard Supply Hardware said he always uses the daylight savings time change as a reminder to get these tasks done.

Here's a checklist of things homeowners and renters should be preparing:

Check the batteries in your smoke and carbon dioxide detectors. Replace the filters in your furnace. Wrap your pipes for the freezing weather and make sure your faucets have insulation and guards. Clean the gutters and check your downspouts. Trim branches that could fall from strong winds and heavy wet leaves. Rake leaves regularly to prevent dry rot on your house or the attraction of rodents. Having too many leaves around could also be added fuel in the event of a house fire.

Russo said you don't always need to find a professional. Although it is needed sometimes, you should go to your local hardware store first and see if there are other options. For example, there's a spray sealant for your gutters if they are leaking. A much cheaper option than calling a professional.

"We'll tell you what you need and make sure you're not getting things you don't need," Russo said. "We'll help with ways in which you can take care of these maintenance issues without making it too hard, too costly."

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