Tips to prepare inside and outside for fall’s first cold blast coming this weekend

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LIBERTY, Mo. -- The first cold blast of the season is expected to head our way this weekend.

As we look to get near the freezing mark, there's plenty you can do to prepare both inside and outside your home.

The mums are bright and beautiful at Family Tree Nursery in Liberty. But the business is carefully watching the weather to determine if it'll need to bring out frost covers to keep all the plants protected.

"If it comes to a point where we think the cold is really going to last a long time, we'll either start moving them underneath of the walkways here where we do have the infrared heaters here that can really put out a lot of heat really quickly," said Travis Morcha with Family Tree Nursery.

If you have small or tropical plants, you definitely want to bring them in before the cold snap, too.

But the good news is fall plants like mums are hearty enough to withstand a quick cold spell. Blooms may be slowed, but it's not likely to cause irreparable damage until temps hit freezing consistently for several days.

And there's something simple you can to do improve the odds of keeping plants safe.

"Make sure that your plants are watered. It's very important because no plant wants to go through a freeze or frost while dry. Typically if you go through that and it's dry, you'll see significantly more damage than if the plant was freshly watered," Morcha said.

From the outdoor garden to your indoor comfort, your furnace might be getting cranked on the first time this season as well.

The first step to keeping it running right is routinely swapping out the furnace filter.

"A dirty furnace filter can just mess everything up," Scott Simmons with Hotter Than Hell Heating & Cooling said. "The box overheats. It goes out on limit. You burn a lot of gas you shouldn't. It's not going to heat the house right."

A filter can cost just a few bucks, and replacing it often can help you avoid hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs.

There are a few other easy DIY tasks to help keep your house nice and warm.

"If you feel air coming out of the duct work down here, go to the hardware store, buy you a roll of that metal tape and seal it up -- because you don't want the air down here.  You want it upstairs," Simmons said.

You can also caulk around windows and doors to keep cold air out, and put in a new thermostat battery to avoid unexpected heating issues.

Experts also recommend you check and replace batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors this time of year.

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