Most of Central Oregon hasn’t seen much winter until this week, so here’s some tips to help winterize your home:

1. Check your Fireplace

Animal nests or creosote buildup in your fireplace can be hazardous. Have an annual inspection before building your first fire of the season.

2.Use Caulking and Weatherstripping

Simple leaks can sap home energy efficiency by 5 to 30 percent a year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

3.Check your Roof

Repair roof leaks and remove tree branches that could get weighed down with ice or snow and fall on your house – or your neighbor’s. (Avoid liability for the latter.) Have a contractor check roof to see if it would sustain the weight of a heavy snowfall.

4. Keep your pipes from freezing

During cold spells, keep cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate around pipes, particularly those in the kitchen and bathrooms. Insulating your pipes with pre-slit foam is also a good idea during freezing temperatures.

5.Put Up Some Plastic

Adding a buffer against drafts and extra still air space can give a nice boost to your home’s ability to hold heat.

6.Be Prepared

Have flashlights,candles, blankets, and extra food and water on hand in case of power outage or other emergencies.