By Jason DeRusha

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The calendar may say fall, but the winter temperatures are clearly here. If you haven’t taken the time yet to get your house ready for what Minnesota winters bring, it’s not too late.

The Family Handyman Magazine is based in Eagan their do-it-yourself expert Spike Carlsen has four tips to help us get ready for the bitter cold and snow in this week’s Get Movin’ Monday.

READ MORE: Timeline: Events Since George Floyd's Arrest, Murder On May 25, 2020

It’s already been very cold, but there’s an easy way to make sure you keep the heat from your furnace in your house and the critters out. One of the easiest is sealing open spots with caulking.

“For really large gaps you can use caulking backer, this stuffs in the cracks, the caulk goes in that. If you’re going to buy caulk, get the good stuff. But a silicone or some kind of silicone blend, it will last a long time you won’t have to repeat it,” Carlsen said.

One study suggests if you add up all the gaps and cracks we have in our homes, it’s the equivalent of keeping a two foot by two foot window open.

READ MORE: Kyle Quinn, 31, Killed In St. Paul's 3rd Homicide Of The Year; Suspect Arrested

One of the most common mistakes in homeownership with your heating is to forget to clean our or replace your furnace filters. Every month they should be replaced or cleaned. An easy way to remember is to buy them by the box full, write the name of the month on each filter and every month when you pay the utility bill change the filter, Carlsen said.

There’s also an easy way to keep your heating costs down. At night you can turn it down five to 10 degrees and while you’re at work and not home during the day, lower it 10 degrees, Carlsen said.

“The really smart ones you can run off your cell phone, they’ll judge your habits and adjust your temperature for you,” he said.

You’ll also want to protect your outside faucets by turning the water off. That will prevent pipes freezing when the temperatures and wind chill go below zero.

MORE NEWS: COVID In Minnesota: 78 More Deaths Reported; Rolling Positivity Rate Still Reaching New Highs

“The worst thing that can happen is that water will back up, freeze and you’ll get a burst water pipe. If you’re remodeling or replacing a pipe, go with a freeze-proof faucet. The stem goes way inside the house so if you turn the water off you’re already out of danger,” Carlsen said.

Jason DeRusha