iLocal News Archives

How to Winterize Your Home: How to Welcome the Cold Without Risking Your Space

As the cold wind blows in, it’s important to gather up hats, gloves, and coats to keep warm. But those aren’t the only things that should be on your winterizing checklist. Just as the cold weather will get to you, it could negatively affect your home without the proper precautions, potentially leading to costly or unnecessary repairs.

Keep reading to learn more about what steps you should take to winterize your home before snuggling up in front of the fireplace.

Why Do You Need to Winterize Your Home?

Before we get into how to winterize your home, let’s talk about why it needs to be done. Other than affecting your comfort level, it can also lead to expensive repairs or big appliance replacements.

In addition, some of the steps you take to winterize your home will also go a long way to protect the environment. Things like lowering energy consumption, sealing windows, and replacing insufficient insulation will help protect your home from freezing temperatures while reducing your carbon footprint.

Who doesn’t love staying warm, saving money, and protecting the planet – all at the same time?

How to Winterize Your Home: 6 Steps to Take

Now that you know why you need to winterize your home, let’s talk about some steps you can take to get started.

1. Assess Your Energy Efficiency

You might be surprised at how much more energy you consume when your home is not energy efficient. Performing an energy audit is a fantastic way to check on how your home is doing while identifying ways to improve your home’s efficiency.

You can do this assessment yourself by going around your home and thoroughly inspecting your windows, doors, vents, and electrical outlets for air leaks. You should also check the insulation in your attic, walls, basement, and crawl spaces to ensure they’re doing a sufficient job.

If you aren’t sure where to start or uncover an air leak you can’t fix, call a professional. Many states even offer energy efficiency programs that provide homeowners tax incentives, grants, or loans to help them move toward a more energy-efficient home.

2. Seal Any Air Leaks

A big part of winterizing your home is making sure that the cold air stays outside and the warm air stays inside, which can be almost impossible if your home has significant air leaks. Add weatherstripping around drafty windows and doors to combat air leaks, and inspect your electrical outlets or vents regularly. If you find any gaps or cracks in your home’s exterior, fill them with caulk. For large gaps, you can also use a foam sealant.

If these gaps or cracks appear too significant for you to deal with on your own, or if you’re worried that they might negatively affect your home’s structural integrity, be sure to call a handyman or professional to do a thorough inspection and develop a solution.

3. Schedule Regular Inspections and Maintenance on Your Heating Systems

When temperatures drop, it’s time for your heating system to shine. Make sure it’s up for the challenge by scheduling regular inspections and maintenance by your local HVAC service professional. A well-maintained heating system will keep you warm and lower energy consumption. Regular inspections will also give you insight into any upcoming potential problems.

In addition to regular inspections, regular maintenance is also essential. Besides the once-a-year maintenance call by a professional, you should replace your air filters regularly and use a programmable thermostat to regulate your home’s internal temperature.

4. Inspect Your Plumbing Systems

Just like your heating system, your plumbing system also needs a little tender loving care when the temperatures freeze. When it gets too cold, pipes could freeze and burst, leaving you with a mess to clean up. An issue like this could also happen if your plumbing lays dormant for too long, like in a vacation or vacant home. Combat this by ensuring water is flowing through your pipes regularly, especially when the temperatures are below zero.

In addition to inspection, proper maintenance is also important for your plumbing system. Be sure your exposed pipes are insulated with heat tape or foam insulation sleeves. If you have exterior hoses, disconnect and drain them before the seasons change and shut off all water supply to outdoor faucets.

5. Winterize Your Windows

Another way to lower energy costs and winterize your home is by taking advantage of available sunshine. Keep your curtains open during the day to let the sunlight stream into your home. Not only will this brighten up your space, but your home will take in the sun’s warmth. When the sun goes down, close those curtains! 

You can install thermal or insulating shades to combat heat loss through window panes. These shades have an extra layer of insulation to offer one more line of defense to help keep cold and warm air out.

6. Trim Back Trees and Other Limbs

In many places, with the cold comes the snowstorms. While beautiful, snow and ice can wreak havoc on a homeowner, especially if trees surround your home.

Stay up-to-date on your landscaping chores to reduce the possibility of a tree or limb falling on your property or surrounding power lines. Before it gets too cold out there, trim back unruly limbs or take down dead trees that could fall from the wind or the weight of snow and ice after a rough winter storm.

Follow These Tips for Winterizing Your Home

When winterizing your home, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Taking some time before the weather gets bad to protect yourself and your property will save you time, money, and stress in the long run. 

Stay safe out there!


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *