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Winter in Wyoming makes getting your HOME ready a necessity! Frozen pipes or a basement full of water is not at all fun to deal with! Here are a few tips to get your house ready for winter–from storm windows to sprinkler winterization. I am sure there are more! Let us know what we missed!
Just in case you were wondering, winter in Wyoming can be awesome. But it really is not the same as winter in other states. If you have ever been through one of our winters, you probably know what I’m talking about. There are a few things that all of us should know about preparing our home for the Wyoming winter. Most of the steps that you need to take have to do with preventing frozen and broken pipes. Hi, I’m Alisha Collins with Re/Max the Group and the Alisha Collins Real Estate Team. Thank you so much for joining us on our YouTube channel. We love interacting with you, we love meeting you in person, and we love chatting with you on the phone. Let’s get back to the 10 things that we need to do to prepare our home for winter. Number one, get your sprinkler system winterized. I have a sprinkler guy that actually automatically comes to my home at the end of September, first part of October. He shuts down my sprinkler system and blows out all the water. This is so important. We have had two clients in recent years that have not had their systems winterized in time and their bell housing froze, popped off. And the result was that water in those lines flooded their basement. Whether or not you have a sprinkler system, you still have got to remember to remove the water hoses from all of your outdoor faucets. Leaving a hose attached is another quick way to get frozen pipes and a flooded basement. If you have a way to isolate and shut off the outside faucets from underneath the house or in the basement, that’s a good idea too. Number two, install your storm windows. Storm windows are generally found on older homes and they offer an extra layer of protection against the elements. They prevent a considerable amount of heat loss from the home in the form of air traveling through the windows and create an insulated pocket of air between the storm window and the regular window. Many modern windows are now double-paned or triple-paned windows and therefore they do not need storm windows. Number three, in most homes the walls are insulated enough that you may not have to do this. However, especially if you are going to be gone for any length of time during the winter months, it’s really a good idea to open the cabinet doors under the sinks and to leave interior bathroom doors open to the rest of the house. Cabinets are one area of the house that is harder to heat. And often the plumbing inside them may be located on an outside wall, making these already cold spaces even colder. Opening the cabinet doors will allow ambient heat to travel into those spaces, helping to prevent frozen plumbing. When it drops below 15 degrees outdoors, even if you’re home, it’s a good idea to open your cabinet doors so the heat gets under there. It is not fun to have to thaw pipes and even less fun if they actually freeze and break. And we have had this happen before. Number four, do you have a room with plumbing in an exterior wall? Consider installing a Cadet wall heater with a thermostat or putting a portable electric heater in that room. In my laundry room, my washing machine is on an exterior wall and obviously I wanna do whatever I can do to prevent it from freezing, which thankfully hasn’t happened yet, knock on wood. Number five, maintain your furnace. Your furnace needs to be clean to run efficiently. Have your furnace serviced and checked annually. And make sure you change that filter in the furnace once a month. You would be shocked at how many furnace filters we see that are absolutely caked with dust and dog hair. I just changed mine a little late. It was gross. Maintaining your furnace will ensure it runs properly, costs you less to operate, and helps to keep it running longer. Having a furnace go out during the winter season could really put you in a bad spot. Number six, just as important as cleaning your furnace, you’ll wanna make sure that your chimney is clean as well. This is something that is super-important and it’s easily overlooked. You can set it up with one of the companies in town to come clean it annually. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you can buy the equipment to clean it yourself or surprisingly, you can visit one of the local fire stations to borrow it. Number seven, check your smoke alarms. Test them to make sure that they are working properly. Pick a date that you’ll remember every single year to make sure that their batteries are fresh and if they’re hardwired, make sure that they are still communicating properly with each other. Number eight, make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector if you have any gas appliances such as a gas range, gas furnace, or water heater, hot water gas boiler heat, or even if you have a fireplace or pellet stove. Test your carbon monoxide detector at the same time as you test your smoke alarms. Make sure the batteries are fresh and replace it if it is past the expiration date. Number nine, if your home is on a crawl space foundation, you can close your outside air vents in the crawl space. This will allow more heat to stay in the house. Just make sure that you open them back up in the summer. Those vents are super-important in allowing moisture to escape in the summer. Number 10, do you have a generator? Whether it is a portable generator or one that is connected to your home like a Generac, make sure it has been serviced and is ready to go. Even a small generator can run your coffee pot, pellet stove, and your refrigerator, maybe even a TV to pass the time. Actually wait, maybe the internet router is more important than all the items I mentioned above. At least that is what my kids would say. I am sure there’s other things we could add to this list too but I wanted to give you the top 10. Tell me what you think about Wyoming winter and if you live here or not. I’d love to know if your winters sound like ours. If you are moving to Casper or the Casper area, I would love to help you find the perfect home. We have time for you. We’d love to get on a Zoom call, a phone call, texting, whatever is convenient for you. Remember, we want you to love where you live. See you soon.