A Midwest winter is a winter unlike any other. As a Midwesterner, you might already have some go-to home improvements and tips to prepare your home for winter. At Pella, we work with Columbus homeowners day in and day out, through all four seasons, and we think these are some of the best ways to prepare your home for a good ‘ole Midwestern winter.
Optimize Your Heat
The first hurdle to jump when preparing for winter is your furnace. At the very least, check and change your furnace filter, if you’re looking to go above and beyond, schedule service with a professional for a full-fledged check and tune-up. This can also be a good idea if your furnace is beginning to get a bit older.
The second is an easier fix, but one that can really maximize the heat your furnace is providing: switch the direction of your fans. This will force all of the hot air hanging in your ceilings down to the space where you and your family occupy, keeping you all warm!
Protect the Pipes
Check for leaks, but also consider insulating your pipes. A burst pipe is the last unfortunate event any homeowner wants to deal with in the dead of a Columbus winter, so be sure to insulate with either a foam or tape insulation solution.
Don’t Forget the Yard or Driveway
While putting salt down once it snows is a no-brainer, preparing your driveway for winter is actually even more important. Make sure to fill any cracks or holes in your driveway as water can leak into these spots, freeze, expand and cause even larger cracks and holes come spring and summer.
Don’t forget about your lawn either! Make sure to do one last sweep of your lawn for leaves, or you could be facing some brown or muddy spots come spring and summer. In addition, be sure to winterize or put away your sprinkler systems, forgetting to do so will have them freezing and causing damage, making them unusable come spring.
Check Those Entry Points: Windows and Doors
The entry points in your home can leak the coldest winter air into your home if given the opportunity. Check your seals, the function of your windows movement and look for any gaps. While re-caulking can sometimes be adequate, if you find too large of issues, you might need to replace or else risk wasting money on your energy bill (and having to deal with chilly winter air in your home!).
Prepare Your Entryway with a Good Defense
Be it your kids or your spouse, someone’s always trying to let Old Man Winter in. Prepare your entryway with door draft guards, all-weather mats, coat holders and shoe trays to prevent snow, slush, ice and salt from leaving your entryway and invading your home.
Warm up the Floor
In addition to shoe trays and all-weather mats to give your floor a fighting chance, you can also add rugs and mats to keep your floor warm. This will help keep your home — and your feet! — warm and cozy.
Inspect the Roof and Gut the Gutters
Inspecting your roof for holes, cracks, and loose shingles before Columbus’ first snow will prevent you from the headache of finding out your roof needs repairs the hard way — leaks. Typically this will prevent more expensive repairs as well, so you won’t have to fix your roof and your flooring.
Consider a Generator
The reality of being a Columbus homeowner is that we never know quite what winter will bring. It can be a good idea to think of investing in a generator as an emergency and safety precaution, and this year, with everyone spending more time at home, this should be a bigger consideration than ever before.
Unfortunately, Columbus, winter is coming, and homeowners can prepare as much as they want, but that won’t prevent the snow and icy cold, so make sure your home is your cozy safe haven this year, and we’ll weather the storm together just like every year before.