How to Prepare Your Missouri Home for Winter
Photo credit: Mira Kemppainen via Unsplash
As winter approaches, it’s important to make sure you — and your home — are ready. Not only will these things make your home more comfortable, but they’ll also likely add up to big energy savings over the winter months. Here are some things to watch for and check before temperatures drop and snow flies.
Weatherproof your home by checking areas that are prone to leaking cold air. Doors and windows are your biggest offenders, but the attic can also let in a lot of cold air. Double check the insulation and replace if needed. On windows and doors, there are many ways you can weatherproof. Install a storm door or a door sweep to stop drafts from creeping under the door. Or you can seal a drafty door by installing foam or felt weatherstripping, and shore up windows with caulk. You can also use caulks to find and fill in any gaps you find in siding and foundation. Some people also use plastic around the window, but the downside of that is once it’s on, you can’t use the window without tearing off the plastic. So if your winters have nice days mixed in with cold temperatures, this probably isn’t your best option.
One of the messiest, and most expensive, winter weather issues is for pipes to freeze and burst. According to Lowe’s, pipes that run through exterior walls are especially prone to freezing. Experts agree the first step is to know where your main water shutoff is, so you can get to it quickly if the worst does happen. (Make sure everyone in your family also knows how to find it and shut the water off if needed.) If your pipes are uninsulated, you can buy pipe sleeves and install them yourself. If you think they need more work or you’re just not sure, contact a licensed builder or plumber to find out what steps to take, and how to take them.
Beyond the pipes in your house, be sure to disconnect any garden hoses, drain them of water and store them where they’ll be out of the elements.
If you have a fireplace, now is the time to get it inspected. This should be done by a professional every year to make sure there is no buildup that could start a fire. If you have a furnace, make sure the filters are clean, and consider setting up a schedule to change out the filters on a regular basis. Check to see what kind of maintenance your furnace needs, and get it inspected by a professional every year or two.
Pro tip: Set your thermostat to one temperature and leave it there, instead of bumping it up or down throughout the day. Or, consider installing a programmable thermostat. Either option can give a big boost to your energy and money savings each month.
Don’t Forget the Outside
As you’re getting your home ready for the seasonal change, don’t forget to get your yard ready, too. Bring in plants and flowering trees, and store other items. Even outdoor furniture can be damaged by snow and ice, as can grills or equipment like mowers. If possible, store them inside a shed or garage. If that’s not possible, cover them and put them in a secure spot where wind and snow won’t blow them around.
Still have questions on winterizing your home? Let us help! Contact us here or at (636) 462-3500.