MGE EnergyWise - Helping you save energy and money

9 things to do to get ready for winter

Here's a checklist of things to do to get your home ready for the change of season.


  1. Check weatherstripping. Check the weatherstripping around doors and windows and replace as needed. Leaks around windows and doors not only create drafts but also waste heat.
  2. Check and clean gutters. Blocked gutters and downspouts can cause water backup. Clean your gutters of leaves and other debris. Check all connections.
  3. Check and clean dryer venting system. Replace white plastic vent hose with metallic vent pipe.
  4. Turn off and drain outdoor faucets. Disconnect and drain hoses. Install freeze-proof faucet covers as needed.


  1. Check the batteries in your programmable thermostat. Don't come home to a cold house! Don't let leaking batteries ruin your thermostat. Check the batteries before the winter weather gets here.
  2. Check smoke detectors. Test smoke detectors to make sure they are working, and change the batteries if needed.
  3. Install a carbon monoxide (CO) detector. CO is a silent killer! If you have a furnace, fireplace, water heater or other appliance that is fueled by fossil fuel, we recommend a CO alarm on every level of the home. Exhaust fumes from an attached garage are another possible source. CO detectors are inexpensive—just plug in and they could save your life.
  4. Check your furnace filter. If it's dirty, change it. If you haven't had your furnace serviced for more than two years, now's a good time to do that too.
  5. Inspect your fireplace and make sure the damper closes. Wood-burning fireplaces can get a buildup of creosote in the chimney. Have the chimney checked and cleaned if necessary. Close the damper when not in use.

For more information

Energy-Saving Tips for All Seasons [23.6 MB PDF]
Carbon Monoxide Alarms [132 kB PDF]
Caulk and Weatherstrip [3.7 MB PDF]

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