Preparing Your Home & Garden for Winter

Batten Down the Hatches!

Brace yourselves, it’s coming: another Minnesota winter. If you’ve been in denial, it’s time to snap out of it and get your home ready for the inevitable cold, snow, and ice.

Turn off the exterior water source
To prevent pipes from freezing and bursting, turn off the exterior water source from the inside and open the water spigot on the outside of your home. Drain hoses and store them in your garage or basement.

Empty your rain barrel
If you have a rain barrel, empty it and disconnect it from the downspout to prevent freezing and cracking. Turn it upside down for the winter.

Clean out your gutters
Gutters clogged with leaves and other debris can cause water to pool in the spring, inviting animals and insects (mosquitoes) and potential water damage to your home.

Protect your perennials
About mid-late November, cover your perennials with a layer of mulch or fallen leaves. Roses need extra protection. Click here for more tips on winterizing your plants.
Change your furnace filter and give your furnace a tune-up
To keep your furnace running efficiently this winter and improve your indoor air quality, change the filter. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it. And for safety, efficiency, and reliability during the cold winter months, now is also a good time to have your furnace inspected. Learn more from CenterPoint Energy’s Home Service Plus®.

Change the batteries on your CO2 detector and smoke detectors
It’s a good idea to change the batteries on your CO2 detector and smoke detectors twice a year. An easy way to remember to do this, is to change them when you change your clocks at the beginning and end of daylight saving time. Daylight saving time ends on November 2. When you turn your clocks back one hour, don’t forget to change your batteries! (And if you don’t have a CO2 detector, now is a good time to buy one. It could save your life.)

Photo by Kim’n’Cris Knight and used under Creative Commons license.

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