With what’s already gearing up to be a long, cold winter, you can stay warmer and save money by implementing a few preventative measures in your home.
“Walk around the outside of your house and see everything that can be sealed up so water and drafts can’t get in,” said Rich Kelly, owner/manager of Ace Hardware and Rental, of Dixon, Illinois. Pay particular attention to doors and windows. "Look around the outside of it,” Kelly said. “Where the frame is against the siding or brick there should be a nice bead of caulk to keep water or wind from coming in.” Kelly recommends caulking when outside temps are at least 40 degrees.
Make sure gutters are clear so next spring they can get the water away from the outside of the house, adds Kelly. “We also want to make sure garden hoses are unhooked from the outside so they don’t freeze. We see a lot of those every spring and people come in and say their basement is flooded.”
Make sure all leaves are raked away from the house and not piled against siding. “They can hold moisture, and wood can rot,” said Kelly. “They also promote mold and mildew growing on the side of house and we don’t want any of that.”
To prevent damage to sidewalks or driveways, fill cracks with caulk or sealer to avoid water freezing and expanding, which breaks concrete.
Seal windows inside the house with weather stirpping or shrink wrap which can be removed in spring. For doors, make sure the threshold is sealed well. You can also seal around the door.
Check furnace filters and install a new one every month or so, depending on your furnace design, so it can work efficiently. “A lot need air flow to make things work well,” said Kelly. “Some are designed for special allergy filters.”
Ace Hardware & Rental
900 North Galena Avenue
Dixon, IL 61021