Winter Home Prep – Our Top Five Tips

Winterize Your Home Ah, the coming of winter. Shorter days, cooler weather, and the promise of the holiday season. Winter is a wonderful time of the year: a chance to spend more time with family, slow down our day-to-day routine, and recharge our internal batteries.  Who wants to think about winter home prep?

Of course, winter isn’t all fun and games. Sure, it’s preceded by a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, followed by a stack of Christmas presents, plenty of holiday cookies, and a night of New Year’s celebration. But winter can also wreak havoc on your home. Think frozen pipes, piles of snows in already-full gutters, outrageous heating bills…you get the picture. You could end up with a lost home repair list come springtime, not to mention a ton of money wasted on heating costs over the winter.

But don’t worry: there are a handful of simple steps you can take to ensure that your home is prepared for the winter. With our domicile protected and buttoned down for the season, you’ll be free to enjoy all that winter has to offer. Here are our top five DIY tips for home maintenance in the winter season.

Install a door sweep

Ever been standing by an exterior door in the winter and felt and unwelcome breeze against your feet? If so, you’re in need of a new door sweep. These are available for just a few dollars at the hardware store, and they’re easy to install. Check the directions on the packaging, and be sure to measure your door beforehand. A quality door sweep can completely eliminate the air that infiltrates your home from beneath the door, saving on heating bills and keeping your feet toasty warm.  

Check your weatherstripping

Like a door sweep, weatherstripping can keep unwanted cold air from entering your home. Walk around your home on a cool, breezy day and run your hand along the tops and sides of doors and windows. Do you feel cold air coming in? If you do, then consider replacing your weatherstripping (or installing it if it’s not already there). Weatherstripping is cheap, and installing it is usually as simple as removing an adhesive strip and applying it by hand.

Augment attic insulation

If you’re having major heating difficulties in the winter, attic insulation should be a consideration. Older homes often have inadequate insulation in the attic. Consider contacting a company to install blown attic insulation: the cost is higher up front, but in the long run it’s highly energy efficient.

Replace furnace filter

Winter Home Prep Air Filter Replacement

An efficient furnace makes for a less devastating heating bill. Check your furnace filter, and replace it if it looks a bit dirty. The cleaner your filter, the more efficiently your furnace will run.  This should be a task on everyone’s winter home prep checklist.

Insulate your hot water heater

Older hot water heaters can leak heat like nobody’s business, which can dramatically add to your energy bill in the winter. Wrapping them in insulation is easy, and can save you quite a bit of money by the end of the season. Just make sure that your water heater isn’t pre-insulated, and that its manual doesn’t warn against applying insulation. And take note: on-demand (tankless) hot water heaters shouldn’t be insulated.

Bonus: Winter Home Prep to Save More on Heating Costs

Congrats on preparing your home for the winter! But there’s one last lingering concern in the back of your mind: winter heating costs. Are you wondering how to cut down on your energy bill this winter? Is there more that you could be doing aside from the above suggestions? Take a look at our guide for saving on winter heating costs.