Making Sure Your Home Is Prepared For Midwest Winter Weather

Is your home prepared for potential snow or frigid temperatures? Extreme cold temperatures can be hard on you, your vehicles, and your home!

In The Yard:

  • Disconnect all garden hoses from your home’s plumbing. Store appropriately in a storage shed or your garage.
  • Turn off water to outside faucets, if you can, and open valves on faucets to allow them to drain.
  • Insulate all outside faucets with foam covers.
  • Clear gutters and downspouts of debris. Drain birdbaths, water elements, and fountains.
  • Bring in your container plants to avoid freezing.

For Your Plumbing:

  • Know where your main cut-off valve is and ensure you have a cut-off key handy. You want to know where this is in the case of an emergency!
  • Insulate your exposed pipes (both hot and cold!) under your house and in cooler areas of your home with foam pipe insulation.
  • Open cabinet doors under your sinks to allow for more airflow.
  • Drip faucets in the kitchen and bath. If you have hot and cold faucets, drip from both. If you have single-control faucets, drip with the lever set in the middle.

For Your Home:

  • Have your furnace inspected before the cold weather hits.
  • Replace your furnace filter. Clogged filters can drive up your heating costs, make your furnace run inefficiently and ineffectively, and may even cause major damage!
  • Have your fireplace and chimney inspected! They may need a good cleaning, especially if they were used a lot in the previous cold weather season.
  • Keep drapes and blinds closed, unless the windows are in direct sunlight and can help heat up a room.
  • Put your storm windows up or install plastic sheet window insulation kits on the inside of your home’s windows.
  • Remove any window air conditioners and plug up any drafts.
  • Seal up any cracks or holes on the outside of your home with caulk.
  • Run ceiling fans on low in reverse (clockwise when looking up at the fan) to circulate the warm air from the ceiling down.
  • Put “draft snakes” on window skills, between window frames, and against the bottoms of your doors.
  • Test your fire and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are working as they should be.

Worried that your home may not be as prepared for winter as it should be?

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