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It’s never too early to prepare for a Saskatchewan winter. Here’s how

Early Thursday morning snow is expected across Saskatchewan. Erin Hooley / Chicago Tribune/TNS/ABACAPRESS.COM

Winter is coming.

So is that four-letter word we all dread: S-N-O-W.

Read more: Saskatchewan cities prepare for extreme wind, freezing rain and icy roads

Some of us prepare for the winter early, while the rest of us leave our winter ‘checklist’ for the last minute.

We may not want to admit it after the unseasonably high temperatures we’ve enjoyed in Saskatchewan this year, but it’s all just around the corner.

There’s the potential for snow in the early hours of Thursday morning across Saskatchewan, and that will be just a taste of what’s ahead in the months to come.

Read more: Ready or not, winter is coming: Tips to prepare for long season ahead

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Preparing your car for winter road conditions is one of the first things you should consider as the season changes.

Hailey MacFarlane, Frame & Wheel Alignment Co. service adviser says, “You want to get your tires changed when the temperature hits 7 C, and you’ll want to get it done sooner rather than later.”

Read more: Drivers need to adjust for winter road conditions: SGI

There’s no official rule of when to switch over to snow tires, but waiting for the first snow of the season could be a bit of a gamble.

“As soon as anybody sees the snowfall in the forecast our phones are ringing and people want those tires on,” MacFarlane adds.

It can cost around $100 and take up to two hours to get your tires changed in Saskatchewan. It will cost around $40 and 45 minutes if your tires are already on rims.

Read more: Winter tire use on the rise in Saskatchewan: study

As temperatures drop, it’s also a good time to check on ways to keep your home heated.

According to SaskEnergy, natural gas is the most affordable way to heat your home. For every dollar you spend on natural gas, you could spend $3 for propane, $4 for oil, and up to $5 for electricity.

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Read more: Proposed SaskEnergy rate increases average residential bill by $5.65/month

Shirley Xie, SaskEnergy senior communications officer, recommends, “homeowners to insulate their homes along the walls and attic, and also apply weather strips around the windows and doors to keep the heat inside.”

Smart home appliances are another way to keep your home heated, and can save you money long term.  Xie adds, “A programmable thermostat is a very helpful tool so you can maintain some constant temperatures inside your home, and every degree you turn down inside of your house can save you about 2 percent on your energy bills.”

Let face it, winter is — almost — here. It’s never too early to prepare yourself for the season ahead.

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