Here are seven things to do now to avoid costly wintertime mistakes:
 OUTDOOR FAUCET PROTECTOR
The cost if you don’t: Up to $15,000
Add a faucet protector to keep cold air from getting into your pipes. They are very inexpensive and you can get some for under $2.
While you’re at it, make sure any exposed pipes in an unheated basement or garage are insulated, too, or you’ll face the same pricey problem. Wrap pipes with foam plumbing insulation — before the weather drops.
 PREVENT ICE DAMS IN YOUR GUTTERS
The cost if you don’t: Up to $500
Icicles are a clear sign that you’ve got an ice dam, which is exactly what it sounds like: a buildup of ice on your gutter or roof that prevents melting snow and ice from flowing through your gutters. That’s really bad news because these icy blocks can lead to expensive roofing repairs.
 CLEAN YOUR GUTTERS
The cost if you don’t: Up to $30,000 if foundation is damaged
If it looks like you’re living inside a waterfall when it rains, water is missing your gutter system completely. It’s being directed to your foundation instead.
 SEAL UP LEAKS
The cost if you don’t: Sky-high heating bills
Look for visible cracks around:
+ Window Sills
+ Dryer Vents
Cracks can be easily and inexpensively sealed with a simple tube of caulk, and it’s available in hundreds of colors to match your window panes, outside siding, and even brick.
 PROGRAM YOUR THERMOSTAT
The cost if you don’t: As much as 10% off your energy bill
Program your thermostat to align with your families schedule.
 FURNACE TUNE-UP
The cost if you don’t: Up to $4,000
Forgetting to service your furnace could easily cut five years off the life of your system. Make sure to also replace the furnace filter, which cleans the air in your home.
 FIREPLACE INSPECTION
The cost if you don’t: Endangering your family
Scheduling your maintenance appointment before winter hits will help you avoid long waits while getting it done for less money.