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Advice
Posted in: Selling a home, Homeowner tips

How to prep your home for fall and winter in Minnesota

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 2017 Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a winter with average snowfall – but they also project colder-than-typical temperatures in Minnesota and Wisconsin. While we may have learned how to get through those “polar vortexes,” our homes need special care to prepare for the elements.

Here are insights you can use to prepare your home for this year’s winter.

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.

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.

Still not sold on the benefit of attic insulation? Consider this: When hot air escapes from your attic, you put your home at risk for ice dams, which can be costly and nearly impossible to fix.

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.

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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