Tips to Get Your Home Winter-Ready

By: Madeline Anderson Email
By: Madeline Anderson Email

Now that it's officially fall, it's time to start thinking about winter and getting your house ready for the cold temperatures. That starts with tuning up your furnace.

"Ahead of the heating season, turn it on, see if it does work," said Randy Gilray, with Gilray Heating & Cooling in Wausau. "See that it heats up, blows air, doesn't stink, isn't causing a problem. That way if it is causing a problem, they can call and get it taken care of with a heating contractor before they need to have [heat] that morning."

Gilray says the biggest problem he sees is people forgetting to change their air filters. "Especially because the air conditioner has been using it all summer. Lot of dust, going in and out. So the filter gets a lot dirtier," he said. "When they go to turn the furnace on, the heat starts up and it's heating that air and there's just a bad smell to it for no better way to describe it."

Most air filters last about three months and are easy to change. But if you hear a strange noise coming from the furnace, call a contractor before it breaks. If your furnace is approaching the 15-20-year-mark, it may be time to upgrade. Gilray says a brand new high efficiency gas furnace will start out in the low to mid $2,000 price range. First, call around for estimates before making a final decision.

To minimize the amount of heat that will escape from your home, seal windows, doors and outlets. Gilray also warns, don't let leaves pile up around your house because mice tend to hide out there and are then more likely to come into your home.

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