It’s that time of year again, when the weather is getting cold, storms are on their way, and homeowners start preparing their houses for what’s to come. If you don’t take the steps to prepare your home for the winter weather, or put it off for too long, it can end up causing you a number of headaches and financial issues. Perhaps you’re ready to put in the time and effort, but you’re uncertain of exactly what measures to take. To make things simpler, we’ve compiled a handful of handy tips to make sure that your household is properly protected from the hazards of the cold season.
1. Insulate Your Windows
If the edges of your home’s windows haven’t been recently caulked or insulated, they could become a real problem for you during the winter months. Windows with excessive air leaks can not only allow heat to escape your home and cold air to seep in, but they can also result in water damage to parts of your home. These air leaks force your heating system to work much harder to do its job, meaning you’ll have a less comfortable home as well as more expensive monthly energy bills. You have the option of handling the insulation job yourself with tools from the hardware store, but if it’s not something you’re experienced with, you also have the option of hiring local professionals to insulate your windows for you. Typically, though, purchasing caulking and a caulk gun is fairly inexpensive, and you should be able to do the job in the span of an afternoon.
2. Have Your Roof Inspected
Damaged or loose shingles can be a major source of problems during winter storms, so having your roof professionally inspected before the harsh weather arrives is a very important step to take. A damaged roof can result in significant water and air leaks, which you really want to avoid during the winter if at all possible. Water seeping in can cause damage in your attic, which can end up being expensive to have repaired. Additionally, the air leaks can allow cold air to enter and warm air to escape, creating a colder home and putting more pressure on your furnace to compensate for the loss of heat. However, when you bring in a roofing professional, they will be able to fix any existing issues and ensure that your entire roof is as sturdy as possible for the winter.
3. Get a Furnace Tune-Up
To keep your home comfortable and energy efficient during the winter, it’s important that you keep your furnace regularly maintained. In Anoka, MN, and the surrounding areas, we have a team of heating technicians that can conduct this maintenance for you. It can provide a number of benefits for your home during the cold months. During these tune-ups, our skilled heating experts will perform tweaks to keep the appliance working at maximum efficiency, meaning you won’t be wasting unnecessary energy this winter. Additionally, they will be able to inspect any potential problems that your furnace may be at risk for, and if necessary, nip them in the bud before they start to cause real problems. This way, the maintenance is not only saving you money on monthly energy bills, but it’s also saving you money by allowing your heating system to have a longer, healthier lifespan. Ideally, you should get one of these professional tune-ups at least once a year, but scheduling one before the winter is always a great idea.
4. Inspect Your Fireplace
If your home has a wood-burning fireplace, there’s a good chance you’re going to want to use it more often during the winter than any other time of year. To make sure that the fireplace is running safely and efficiently, it’s a good idea to take the time to inspect and clean it before winter, both on the inside and outside. Before the winter arrives, make sure that the fireplace and chimney are thoroughly cleaned of ash, soot, and any other debris that may be present. To really make sure that the job is complete and your fireplace and chimney are in as good of shape as possible, consider bringing in a professional chimney cleaner instead of attempting to do it yourself. If you use your fireplace regularly year-round, you should ideally schedule a professional inspection on a yearly basis.
5. Insulate Your Pipes
If your home has unprotected pipes that are located in unheated areas, then they are at risk for major issues when the weather gets cold. Without insulation, when the temperature outside drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the water inside the pipes can freeze, resulting in the pipes themselves bursting. Suddenly, you’re dealing with expensive repair bills and some serious plumbing issues in your home. Instead of waiting for the worst to happen, be proactive about it and insulate your piping before the winter gets here. You can hire professionals to complete the insulation, but it’s typically a pretty simple job if you choose to do it on your own. Just purchase the insulation from the hardware store, cut it so that it’s the right length for your pipes, and wrap it around any that are unprotected. If necessary, secure the insulation with strong duct tape, and your pipes will be all ready for the winter.
6. Clean Your Gutters
During the winter, and particularly in places like Minnesota where snow storms are common, gutters that haven’t been cleaned out can have disastrous results. If too much snow or other frozen debris builds up in your gutters, it creates the risk of the weight becoming too much for them to handle. In some cases, they can break loose from the roof of your home. That isn’t the only issue that can occur with neglected gutters, though. During the winter months, when snow, frozen leaves, and other icy debris accumulates and clumps up in your gutters, it can do damage to your roof, and in turn, allow water to leak into your attic.
There are professional gutter cleaning services available, but many people choose to handle the job themselves. To do so, you’ll need a ladder and gloves. But if you have a leaf-blower as well, it will make the job quicker and easier. If possible, don’t just clean the gutters once before the winter, make a point to do it regularly until the weather warms up again instead.
At Liberty Comfort Systems, we are proud to provide reliable, high-quality heating, cooling, and plumbing services to Anoka and the surrounding areas. We take pride in being a Lennox Premier Dealer, and we have been singled out for outstanding achievement in customer service. Our skilled, NATE-certified technicians are available 24/7 to do whatever job is necessary to keep you comfortable all year long. We know that the Minnesota climate can be unforgiving, especially during the winter months, which is why we make a point to go out of our way to meet the needs of our customers.
Give us at a call at Liberty Comfort Systems in Anoka today, and make an appointment with one of our friendly, reliable professionals.