Getting By


October 14, 2020

Before we know, the temperature will be dropping. Before it gets too cold, take advantage of the current temperatures, and prepare your home or apartment for the winter. Here are some ideas to get you started.

1. Check seals around doors and windows: It is surprising how small cracks and spaces can let heat out during the winter but also let pests into your home as the weather cools. On the outside, look for cracks around window and door frames and apply caulk. Check your electrical outlets and switch plates for air leakage and install insulation or outlet gaskets.

2. Inspect furnace and filters: Have your furnace checked for efficiency and clean or replace filters. Dirty filters do not allow the furnace to function efficiently. Do not forget about the air vents—vacuum them and check for any leaks that decrease the efficiency of the warm air being distributed throughout the home.

3. If you have a ceiling fan(s), reverse the direction of the fan blades to force warm air down from the ceiling area.

4. Clean chimneys: Ash and creosote can build up in a chimney, so it is important to have a professional clean it at least every other year, or more often if you use it frequently. In addition, use a flashlight to check for bird nests or other items blocking any part of the chimney.

5. Drain outdoor hoses and faucets: Due to water expanding when it freezes, it can ruin faucets and hoses if they are not properly taken care of. After draining hoses, store indoors. Cover outdoor faucets with insulated frost-free hose bib covers.

6. Wrap indoor pipes: Pipes may be exposed to the cold in the basement, inside cabinets or in the attic. To avoid them bursting from freezing, wrap them in heat tape or tubular pipe insulation sleeves.

7. Take a look at your roof and repair any missing shingles or weak corners that may be places for leaking to occur.

8. Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors: Make sure they are working properly and replace if the expiration dates have passed.

9. Replace light bulbs in exterior light fixtures to provide safe walkways during dark winter nights.

10. Check or replace emergency supplies: Inspect fire extinguishers, batteries, candles, flashlights and lanterns to ensure they are in working condition.

The above information was taken from Additional information is available by contacting Janell at the Chouteau County Extension Office at 622-3036, or in the Cho

To learn more, contact Janell at the Chouteau County Extension Office at 622-3036, or in the green building next to the Chouteau County Courthouse at 1308 Franklin St in Fort Benton.

Follow us on Facebook @ChouteauCountyExtension to keep up to date on what is happening in Chouteau County Extension and 4-H.

Montana State University, US Department of Agriculture and Montana Counties Cooperating. MSU Extension is an equal opportunity/affirmative action provider of educational outreach.


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