Tips to Prepare Your Home for the Winter and Save Money

With winter rolling in heating bills are on the rise. One thing you can do to lower your heating costs is to seal off your home to prevent drafts that will keep your home from staying warm. These simple tips that will help you prepare your home for winter, keeping your family comfortable and saving you money on utilities.

It’s already snowing in some parts of the country and I’ve been reading that this winter is going to be a bad one for snow. So use these ideas now before it gets any colder!

Seal Windows to Save Money
photo by nathan-fertig

Seal Windows

Windows are the number one location for cold air coming into your home. To seal off windows use plastic sheeting. For the best results do a double layer of plastic. The first closest to the window itself and the 2nd along the outside of the frame. Not only will this ensure you block any drafts from the window, it will also create a pocket of air that acts as insulation to keep the cold from the glass and radiating in.

Fix Siding to Save Money
photo bydimon-blr

Fix Siding and Foundation

Look for cracks in your foundation and exterior siding. These cracks can allow air to move into your walls. Look at places that may go unnoticed like near cable installations going into your home. Calking can be used to seal these areas without a lot of work. Be sure to do this when there is a few hours of clear dry weather expected.

Insulate Outlets to Save Money
photo by clint-patterson

Insulate Outlets

Outlets and light switches are a major place cold can also be getting into your home. On exterior walls use an insulation kit to stop air from flowing through the sides and gaps around the plates and add insulation to limit the cold from radiating in. These kits can be left in place year-round so you don’t have to repeat the process next year.

Stop Drafts from Doors
photo by beto-galetto

Stop Drafts from Exterior Doors

Winterize under and around doors. To help keep drafts from making your home colder seal off doors by adding fresh weather-stripping after the weather turns cold. By waiting until it is cold you can make adjustments for swelling and shrinking of the door and door frame. 

At night turn off all lights and have someone run a flashlight around the outside of your door while you watch for spots the light comes in. Pay close attention to the bottom of the door where you may need to add a draft blocker. Silicone stripping is great for blocking drafts around the edges of doors. 

Insulate Pipes
photo by kazuky-akayashi

Insulate Pipes

Look at areas where pipes come in and out of your home. These areas can go unnoticed and can be a major place for drafts to get into your home. Check any place where plumbing enters or exits your home. Dryer vents and exhaust fans are major areas where gaps can allow the cold air in and warm air out. While you need to leave these unblocked you can seal around the edges with calking to ensure that there is no extra airflow.

Check areas where you may not be looking often to find places cold air can get in. Under your sink you may have a large gap around the plumbing. While not leading directly outside this does allow cold air from inside the walls to get into your home. Block off these gaps to help prevent the excess cold from getting into your main living areas.

These simple fixes will help your home stay comfy, cozy warm all winter and save on your utilities.

Stay safe and keep warm! Have any other tips? Put them in the comments!

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Tips for Winterizing your home

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