10 Smart Hacks for Winterizing Your Minneapolis Home
Minneapolis is one of the most exciting metro areas in the US, with a combination of urban sophistication, small-town charm, and the historical and aesthetic interest provided by its Scandinavian roots. If you’re a homeowner in Minneapolis, you’ll need to learn how to navigate the chilly winter weather -- and how to prepare your home for that first cold blast. Winterizing your new home in Minneapolis is easier than you think, requiring just a little planning and forethought.
Minneapolis enjoys a wide range of weather patterns, with warm temperatures in the summer averaging around 83 degrees and frigid winter temperatures. You’ll even experience a few summer days where the temperatures passes 90° -- hotter than most other areas of Minnesota. This makes Minneapolis’ climate great for those that love all four seasons.
Minneapolis Winter Weather
The Minneapolis winters are long -- approximately six months, stretching from November to April. Temperatures rarely get above freezing and you’ll shovel several feet of snow -- the average annual snowfall here is 52 inches per year. During particularly cold stretches, you’ll experience below-zero temperatures as well. Minneapolis winter weather is ideal for those that love the cold and snow.
Preparing Your Minneapolis Home for Winter
With the Minneapolis climate being so cold in the winter, winterizing your Minneapolis home requires planning and ongoing maintenance throughout the long cold season. Here are some specifics for each area of your home, both indoors and out.
Winterizing Doors and Windows
Aside from high-quality insulated doors and windows, it’s important to double-check the seals around your home’s openings. Use a feather or ribbon to check for drafts, and re-caulk or install new weather-stripping as needed.
In order to keep the cold air out and the warm air in, replace summery sheers and linen curtains with heavier draperies in the wintertime. Velvet or wool fabrics provide an extra layer of insulation, making everything feel cozier and keeping the warmth inside.
If your home doesn’t have double windows, installing storm doors and windows provides another layer of protection when cold winds and snows are blowing. Install these early so that you have plenty of time before the first storm of the season.
Winterizing Fireplaces and Chimneys
Fireplaces are in constant use during the winter, so be sure to have them cleaned and inspected during the Fall. Check dampers for dents or cracks and make sure that fireplace doors are properly fitted and sealed. This will help to keep you from losing heat up the chimney when it’s not in use.
Winterizing Outdoor Spaces
Ensuring the insulation of your home is top priority but your outdoor spaces need prior attention to ensure they survive the winter. Clean and store outdoor elements like grills and outdoor furniture, have stonework and pavement pressure washed and replace broken pavers. Have your sprinkler system and outdoor plumbing lines emptied and replace any damaged sprinkler heads, then shut off water to outdoor fixtures.
You will certainly want to check your snow shovels and your supply of snow melt, but consider upgrading your snow clearing arsenal with heated mats or in-ground heating and snow melting systems. While pricey, these can provide peace of mind, especially in homes with small children and elderly family members.
One of the most important elements of getting your basement ready for winter is waterproofing. With several feet of snow melting around your home, a leaky basement can sustain a great deal of damage. Explore both interior and exterior waterproofing to keep everything warm and dry.
In addition, when shoveling snow, be sure to keep it away from your home’s foundation, especially around basement doors and windows. Check for exhaust from basement laundry rooms and HVAC systems and make sure that any pipes or openings are kept clear of drifting snow.
If you haven’t already, ensure that your attic is properly insulated, either with sheets or blown-in insulation materials. If you have an attic crawl space or pull down door, make sure it is also insulated to prevent heat loss through that opening.
In addition, make sure to insulate exposed pipes and plumbing fixtures. If you have closed cabinetry under your bathroom vanity, you may even want to insulate those pipes, especially if they are on an exterior wall.
A number of Minneapolis energy companies offer complimentary or low-cost energy audits to homeowners. Professional auditors check the home’s systems and finishes for overlooked areas that could be inefficient or improperly maintained. This helps you troubleshoot your home’s readiness and save money by proactively preparing or repairing problem areas.
System inspections provide the peace of mind that your home is fully prepared for the coming winter. Check with a qualified general contractor or individual company and have the following inspections performed during the Fall:
- Roofing: Check roof coverings and flashing around edges, chimneys, and skylights. Check attic for evidence of leaks and wood rot.
- HVAC: Have systems and ductwork cleaned and inspected and change filters as required.
- Plumbing: Make sure all plumbing systems are operational and inspect for leaks and exposed pipes.
- Gutters and Downspouts: Make sure these are clean and that there are no cracks or breaks.
Keeping your home warm and energy efficient doesn’t have to be a hassle. A little planning and organization can ensure you’re ready for that chilly Minneapolis winter. As one of the premier home builders in Minnesota, Pulte has neighborhoods wherever you want to be.
Looking for more tips, ideas or inspiration? Return Home here.