Ready or not, here it comes!  Winter.  It's that season where some of us hibernate. I do realize there are people who live in Minnesota who absolutely love a Minnesota Winter.  They love everything to do with it, winter sports, winter outdoor activities, the cold, and even the snow.

I will admit, I do think the snow is pretty... at first.  But when January comes along, I'm over it.  Basically I like it during the holidays and that's it.

Whatever side of that subject you are on, everyone needs to get some things ready around the house so that you aren't having issues next spring, or even throughout the cold winter months.

KARE !! had a few tips.

Make sure to drain all of the hoses that you have attached to outdoor faucets.  Obviously people know enough to shut down the water there, but also drain out the hose because if there is left over water trapped, it could expand and crack the hose.  Then you have to buy a new one.  Why do that if you can avoid it?

Another tip they had was to make sure that the soil in your potted plants is cleaned out. If there is moisture left in the pot, it can also expend and crack your pots.  My honest thought is that it does have room to expend unless it's totally full, but best to clean them out anyway and then store them for the winter.

Check to make sure that your carbon monoxide detector is working.  There is more chance of carbon monoxide in the home during the winter because your furnace is running.

I will also throw in that it's a good time to also check to make sure that your smoke detectors are also in working order.

If you feel ambitious, it might be a good time to hang the holiday lights.  You don't have to light them up, but it's a lot easier to hang those around your house before it's cold and slippery.  Less chance for accidents to happen, also it's much more comfortable temperature now than it is in late November or early December.

KARE 11 also suggested that you flush out your water heater.

Over time, particles and sediment can collect at the bottom of the heater. Flush it through the drain valve to clear all that out, so it's operating as efficiently as possible.

And most of all, make sure to get your furnace checked to make sure it's in working order.  Last thing anyone wants is to have that go out... because you know it will happen when it's about 20 below zero.  That's just the way things go.

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