7 ways homeowners should prepare for cooler weather

Few experiences can be more nightmarish for homeowners than waking up in a cold house on a chilly winter night or discovering that frozen pipes have caused a leak.

October’s changing leaves, falling temperatures and pumpkin spice lattes are all signs that the time has arrived for homeowners to begin winterizing their properties with hopes of undercutting winter damage and insurance claims.

The Insurance Information Institute says that $2.1 billion in insured losses in 2019 happened because of winter storms, and total winter-related homeowner damages, which included both insured and uninsured events, climbed to $7.4 million.

Autumn is already underway, but some homeowners may need a reminder about the benefits of preparing the residence for cooler weather. Among those benefits are smoother running household systems, more manageable utility bills, and the opportunity to catch a potential home maintenance problem before it even begins.

Here are seven fall home maintenance steps that can provide homeowners with peace of mind as the seasons change.

Clean gutters and downspouts.  Among the reasons this needs to be done include debris buildup in gutters and downspouts can attract pests, contribute to roofing deterioration and support an ice damn after a storm.

Winterize outdoor spigots.  Taking time to disconnect hoses, drain spigots and pipes and install faucet covers can help prevent freezing pipes when temperatures drop.

Replace HVAC filter.  This step increases the likelihood that the heating and cooling system will continue to run efficiently, decreases the likelihood of maintenance visits, improves indoor air quality and helps keep the home cleaner.

Seal doors and windows.  Utility costs are on the rise nationwide.  Keeping out drafts means a more comfortable home and a more manageable heating bill.

Replace smoke detector batteries.  Even if the device isn’t “chirping” to indicate that the batteries are weak, it’s advisable to replace smoke detector batteries twice a year, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Install weather stripping and door sweeps.  These steps will help keep any inclement weather outdoors while the home remains comfortable.

Hunt for air leaks.  Make sure door and window caulking isn’t damaged and that all storm doors and windows are sealed correctly to keep the home cozy throughout the coming months.

We encourage you to reach out to AgQuest/ MN River Insurance to help answer any questions you have regarding your farm, home, auto, or commercial coverage. Our experienced agents can help compare products from various companies to find the best coverage that is tailor fit for your specific needs. Don’t leave yourself exposed to the unexpected; contact one of our agents today!