Winter can be brutal in Minnesota, so it’s vital to take steps now to get your home prepared. You can tackle the following tasks yourself, or contact reputable home improvement contractors here in the Twin Cities:
Have Heating Equipment Inspected
Now’s the time to have fuel-burning heating equipment like the gas furnace or wood/pellet stove inspected so it’s operating efficiently and safely. Make sure that key components like the burner, heat exchanger and exhaust system are checked and cleaned so hazardous combustion fumes can’t back up into your home’s air supply.
Weatherize the Exterior
Weatherizing your home’s exterior envelope helps to curb heat loss, reduces energy waste and makes it easier to stay comfortably warm. To tighten up the exterior, have damaged or missing weatherstripping replaced around the doors, caulking reapplied around the windows as needed, and gaps sealed along the foundation/sill plate junction, and around penetrations for electrical wiring, pipes and exhaust vents.
Stop Air Leakage Into the Attic
If air can easily escape from your living areas up into your home’s unfinished attic, you’ll pay too much to heat your home. To curtail such leaks, have gaps, cracks, and holes sealed up around the attic floor perimeter, and penetrations like plumbing stacks, HVAC ducts, exhaust fans, electrical boxes/wiring, recessed lights, and a metal or brick chimney. Another source of leakage is the attic access hatch, so have it sealed with weatherstripping as well.
Give the Gutters Some TLC
Gutter system problems can cause deterioration of your roof system, landscaping, and foundation, and contribute to wintertime ice dam formation that causes damaging water backups into your attic/exterior walls. To avoid problems, have the gutters cleaned out, make sure they’re securely attached to the fascia and that the downspouts are properly redirecting water away from your foundation.
Test Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon monoxide (CO) exposure poses a real threat to your well-being when your home is closed up tight against the frigid winter air, and you’re running a combustion heating system to stay warm. Having fully-functional CO detectors is the only way to know if this deadly gas is present, so put fresh batteries in each device and test it to make sure it’s working properly. Get any detector that’s not working replaced right away.
For expert help getting your home ready for winter, contact us at Midwest Exteriors Plus, your trusted home improvement contractors in the Twin Cities.