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Advice
Posted in: Selling a home, Homeowner tips

How to prep your home for fall and winter in Minnesota and Wisconsin

Prep home for winter

Key insights:

  • Don’t wait until the first snowfall to prepare your home for the winter.
  • Focus on fixing issues that may be increasing your winter energy bills.
  • Prep your lawn and clean gutters so you can benefit in the spring.

The Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a "polar coaster winter" filled with ups and downs for the 2019-2020 season. Whether they’re spot on or off the mark, you can prepare for the next few months by taking on these preventative homeowner tasks now.

Clean your gutters early and often

It’s hard to know when the first snowfall will come, so be sure to keep your gutters free of debris as the autumn leaves fall.

Remember, fall build up in your gutters can lead to even bigger issues with ice dams.

Prep the lawn

Rake and bag your leaves at least once per week during the fall season. Be sure to rake briskly so you remove any moss or deeply-entrenched debris that could impede drainage over the winter.

Spike holes in your lawn (using a garden fork) to aerate the lawn before the first snowfall and fill in any trouble areas with lawn repair mixture.

Check windows and doors for air leaks

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average household spends more than $1,000 on heating and cooling costs annually. One way to lower your energy bills is to ensure that your heat doesn’t leak out as cool temperatures arrive.

Check for leaks by holding a lit candle to your windows, door frames, baseboards and the vent leading outside from your dryer. If the candle flickers as you run it past the area, fill in the leak using caulk from the hardware store.

Add insulation and seal off attic

Many homeowners ignore their attics, especially if they are unfinished. Attic leaks are extremely common, so insulating your attic can immediately lead to lower energy bills. Attic insulation also has the highest return on investment of any local home improvement project, so you may even earn back more than you spend on this project over time.

And while we don’t mean to beat this drum over and over, it’s important to know that poor attic insulation is another common cause of those pesky ice dams. By preventing your attic from leaking hot air, you could save thousands of dollars in attic repairs and roof renovations.

Upgrade to a smart thermostat

If you’re still turning the thermostat down when you go to bed and up when you get home from work, consider upgrading to a smart thermostat. These devices can learn when it’s safe to lower the temperature and when to boost the thermostat because everyone is at home after a long day.

Nest is the most popular smart thermostat, but there are plenty of other options on the market.

All done? Put your feet up!

It can be easy to grow frustrated as another cold winter sets in, but this year, we’re urging you to embrace it! Consider taking on the long-standing Danish lifestyle of hygge, which promotes warmth, coziness and spending time with those you love.

After all, winter isn’t all bad when you’ve got the fireplace going, a cup of hot cocoa and a pair of wool socks just out of the dryer.

Hoping to sell this spring?

If your winter preparations are based on your desire to sell your home this spring, consider getting in touch with an agent who can talk you through the upgrades you’ll need to sell for top dollar. Call, email or chat today to be matched with a local selling expert.

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