Even though the Midwest experiences some of the coldest winter weather in the country, our Ash Street Cooperative residents know how to survive and thrive in our quaint little village. The key is being prepared. Here are some suggestions for getting your Park Forest home ready for the upcoming winter season.
Don't Forget Your Basement Window Wells
Window wells that have been forgotten are a prominent source of moisture in the house, as a result of clogged drains, debris build up and potentially leaky air drafts.
Clean out any leaves and debris from your window wells before the temperatures plummet. You may want to install a plastic, airflow dome to prevent snow and ice from building up and causing leaks into your basement. It's also a good time to examine the caulking around your windows and doors and repair any areas that need it or call the office and see what maintenance can do to help.
Clear the Yard
To maintain the look of your patio, it is important to protect the outdoor furniture from the sun and rain by taking off the cushions and bringing the furniture inside. Snow can be more destructive than the sunshine, so it is vital to store the furniture inside during the wintertime. This will also ensure compliance with the housing regulations of your cooperative.
To thoroughly clean the cushions, give them a good pressure wash (or use a regular water hose), and then store them in the basement. Wipe down the hard surfaces of your furniture with a gentle soap and water solution. Once everything is dry, store it in the basement or a local storage unit if you have one.
Later, clean up and bag any remaining leaves from the lawn to prevent it from dying (if you're an Ash Street Cooperative member, this one's taken care of by grounds staff for you!).
Also look for any sticks that need to be picked up as well as any repairs that need to be made to decks or patios. Your lawn will thank you in the spring by looking healthy and beautiful.
Think of Ways to Lower Utility Bills
An investment in weatherproofing your home will pay off in the long run by reducing your energy usage and keeping your family warmer and more comfortable during the coldest months of the year.
Your heating system works overtime when temperatures plummet, and anything you can do to conserve energy in your home can take some of the burden off and therefore lower your heating bill.
Because air can easily leak through even the smallest gaps or cracks in windows, air leakage is a common problem in homes. A thrifty solution to help insulate against the cold is to apply plastic to your windows. Doing a quick Google search or heading to your local hardware store and asking staff how to do it, can help you understand how easy it is to install plastic window insulating sheets.
Figuring out the most economical method to keep your lower levels warm in the winter is another challenge. Because heat rises, your upper levels will usually be the warmest part of your home, even though you spend the least amount of time there. You might want to close off the vents in any upstairs rooms and open the vents in the basement to keep your primary living areas nice and toasty.
Additionally, if you feel like your HVAC system requires maintenance due to low performance, give the co-op office a call or use our online maintenance form to submit a request to have maintenance check it out before the temperatures get too cold. You could even consider a duct cleaning service to clean up the air in your coop before the dust starts flying with all this forced-air heat.
Once you've completed this to-do list, you can rest assured that your home is ready for whatever Midwest winters have in store. Sit back and relax with a blanket and hot chocolate as you enjoy the warmth of your Ash Street Cooperative home. And if you aren't yet a member of Ash Street, give us a call to check current availability in the friendliest coop in Park Forest, Illinois.