The winter months in Minnesota take a toll on everything, which is why it's so important to prepare your home for the cold season. Here are some tips to prepare for the big chill so you can be sure your family will stay warm and cozy inside all winter long:
* Turn off all outside water faucets - If you have a sprinkler system in your yard, connect with a professional company to blow air through the lines so they're clear of water. If you just have exterior faucets, turn them off inside, then go outside to let the water flow until the pipe is cleared. Turn off the faucet when done, and if you'd like, cover the faucet with an insulating cover to protect it from the elements.
* Clean the chimney and air ducts - Your heating vents and chimney flue are great places for dust and debris to collect, especially if the chimney wasn't used all summer long. Have a professional clean these areas of your home not only to help prevent fires, but also to keep the indoor air much cleaner. Clean vents will also help your furnace run more efficiently.
* Take a walk around - As the temperature drops, the neighborhood critters will look for warmer places to live, and your house is probably an optimal choice. Walk around your house to look for places the size of a dime where mice and insects could crawl inside. There are products like expanding foam, steel wool and flat pieces of sheet metal that you can use to cover and fill these kinds of holes. During the winter, moisture inside your home should also drop along with the temp. But if it's still above 40 to 50 percent humidity, purchase a dehumidifier to remove the dampness. If you do have rodent or insect activity inside, hire a professional to assess your home and help you keep the critters out. Filling those holes will also make your home warmer and more energy efficient.
Winter is just about here, so make sure your home is ready for the colder weather!