Winters in Montana can be excruciating cold in some areas. Strong winds also contribute to how cold you actually feel. Without your home being properly prepared, your energy bills can skyrocket. Get your house ready now before the winter sets in.
Air leaks are a common cause of cold weather entering a house. Sealing around windows, electrical outlets, and doorways are all common knowledge that should have already been done. Adding a vestibule or enclosing a front porch will stop cold air from entering your home every time someone goes in or out. A well designed vestibule will also add value to your house.
The furnace should be clean and in good operating condition. Gas leaks can cause an explosion while carbon monoxide is a poison which can make you sick or even cause death. Dirty burners can cause incomplete combustion which will allow carbon monoxide to seep throughout the house. The filter should also be changed once a month which makes your furnace run more efficient. Air vents should not be blocked by furniture or drapes.
Adding insulation to a depth of 12 inches in the attic should give an R value of 38, which will keep warm air from exiting through the ceiling. Water pipes should be wrapped with heat tape or foam insulation. Busted water pipes can flood the interior of your home which can cause damage to both flooring and furniture. Running water has less chances of freezing, so leave the faucets dripping when the temperature drops below 30 degrees. Leave the cabinet doors under sinks open to allow warmer air in.
Be Prepared for Ice and Snow
Digging out after a heavy snowstorm requires a snow shovel or blower. You need to keep them where they are accessible for emergencies. Ice melt should also be kept in a handy spot. Plenty of food should be available in case the power goes off for an extended amount of time. An alternate heat source should also be available for emergency use.
The roof should be clean and free of debris which could cause water leaks from heavy snow. Gutters should also be cleaned and downspouts free of obstructions. Heavy rugs can keep cold air off the floor and installing a humidifier can make the air feel warmer. Planning ahead can keep winter from being a struggle. Cold weather can be especially hard for the elderly and infants, so get your home ready now before winter arrives.