GHENT, WV (WVNS) — As the autumn chill and winter cold make their way through the seasons, there are steps you can take to keep your home warm and winterized.

With the help of Lowes.com, 59News compiled the best guide to help winterize your home:

1.) Protect your pipes

When the temperature gets below freezing, the water in your pipes can freeze. Once they freeze, the water inside the pipes could expand causing the pipes to burst, which can be very expensive to fix. Insulation can be purchased for your pipes to help keep the metal from getting too cold. You can also run a few, small streams from your faucets to help. To protect your plumbing under your kitchen and bathroom sinks, consider opening the cabinet doors so warm air can circulate the space.

2.) Seal the cracks

Openings around your windows and doors can allow drafts of cold wind to enter your home, bringing the overall home temperature down. Using tools such as caulk or weather strips can help seal the small openings that allow cold air in. Installing storm doors on your front door can help keep the warm air inside the house as well.

3.) Clean your gutters

Having clean gutters prevents ice and snow accumulating, which can cause damage to the gutters. A good rule of thumb is to clean your gutters after the last leaves fall in autumn. Clean gutters allow the snow and ice to melt properly keeping your gutters safe and areas, like your attic, safe from external cold issues.

4.) Touch the thermostat

As the cold seasons approach, you may have your energy bill in mind, but keeping your thermostat set at a minimum heat of 65 degrees Fahrenheit will ensure your house is a reasonable temperature for the cold. Making sure to check all thermostats, chimneys, and other heating systems, before the cold comes is very important so you can handle any issues they may have before you desperately need them to work.

5.) Be wary of slips, trips, & falls

Your driveway, steps to your home, etc, are prone to accumulating ice and snow and these slick spots can be extremely dangerous if not taken care of properly. Having a bag of deicing salt near the front door can help remind you to dust your walking areas the night before a winter storm, or even the morning of as you walk out to your car for walk. Installing hand rails for steps or fences for driveways can help you maintain a 3-point contact while walking on icy areas to help you not fall or get injured.

Following this guide can help keep your home warm and protected for the cold seasons. Taking the proper steps before a major winter storm can help you avoid injury to yourself or your home.