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Tips for getting your house ready for the cold winter months

Before the snow falls, these things should be on your home to-do list.

MINNEAPOLIS — As temperatures drop this weekend, it's a good time to think about what you need to do to get your home ready for winter.

Here are some things that should be on your list:

1. Check your hoses

You probably know to turn off your outdoor water, but it's also a good idea to check your hoses. Empty them out and make sure there's no water inside, which could freeze, expand, and crack the hose.

That's the same reason you should empty any outdoor flower pots. If you leave the soil inside and there's moisture in that soil, it could expand as it freezes and crack the pot.

2. Flush 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.

3. Check your carbon monoxide detector

You should actually check your carbon monoxide detector every month, but it's especially important in the winter months. 

The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is higher in the winter, because the furnace is running.

4. Trim your trees

Now is also a good time to call an arborist or a tree trimmer. Trim your trees to get rid of any dead branches. They can really weigh the tree down. 

When we get a heavy snowstorm, the dead weight will increase the risk of those branches coming down on your house.

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