Is Your Home Ready for Winter?
We know it’s hard to talk about Winter in Minnesota. Still, it is important to prepare your house for the upcoming Winter. Take some time to make your home more efficient so when winter does arrive, you are ready.
- Have your furnace inspected. Even if you have already turned your furnace on, you should still have an expert check it out and give it a tune-up. They will make sure your furnace is running efficiently and safely. Here are some things they will likely handle:
- Perform a carbon monoxide safety check
- Clean and replace air filters
- Check blower operation
- Clean the motor and the fan
- Inspect gas piping to furnace
- An inspection will likely cost $150 – 200. The energy savings you will experience with a well running furnace and your family’s safety are worth it.
- Have your ducts cleaned and inspected. You have the technician coming out anyway to check your furnace, you might as well have them clean and inspect your ducts. Having it done at the same time, will save you time and money. The technician can check for any leaks in your air duct system and take the necessary steps to seal them.
- Trim some trees. Kind of an odd thought when thinking about winter, but it can be important. If you have tree branches hanging over your roof or windows, trim them back a bit. Snow and ice weight on them and can possibly cause them to break.
- Reverse your ceiling fans. On every ceiling fan there is a switch that allows you to reverse the direction of the blades. In the winter you want your fan rotating clockwise in order to push the warm air down and recirculate throughout the room.
- Block the leaks. According US Department of Energy the potential energy loss from drafts can cost you 5% to 30% per year. You are most likely to find the drafts under doors or around windows.
- Replace your furnace filters regularly. Change your furnace filter throughout the winter. A dirty filter does not allow air to flow freely and reduces efficiency.
- Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Keep your family safe! Change the batteries on your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors twice per year. An easy way to remember to do it when we Midwesterners have to change our clocks. Once in the Fall and once in the Spring.
- Get your chimney inspected. Before you start building those warm and cozy fires, have a chimney sweep inspect and clean your chimney. Thousands of fires each year originate in chimneys – make sure yours is safe!
- Turn off your outside faucets. It is important to winterize outside faucets to prevent them from freezing. If they do freeze, it can destroy the faucet or lead to a burst pipe. If you have a shut-off valve to your outside facet, use it. These valves can be found under sinks, in crawl spaces or basements, near your water heater or your meter. Every home is different and some homes may not be equipped with these valves. Remember to disconnect all of your garden hoses from outside faucets.