4 Tips to Help Prepare Your Home for the Winter

Posted: February 9, 2012

You can get your home ready for the winter season by tackling easy and inexpensive projects that will save you money in heating bills in the long run. Here are a few simple winterizing suggestions to help you prepare your home and your wallet for the cold weather months.

Furnace Tune-Up

Contact a local HVAC company to have your HVAC system serviced. Make sure they inspect the duct system for leaks, as this can cause warm air to leak outside instead of being distributed throughout your home.

Some do-it-yourself tune-up improvements include:

Check Your Attic Insulation

Insulating your attic reduces unwanted heat loss out of your home during the winter months and air conditioning in the summer months. A quick way to determine if you need more insulation is by looking at the floor joists. If the joists stick up past the insulation levels, you probably need more. If the joists are hidden under the insulation, your attic is thoroughly insulated.

In addition to checking insulation, weather-strip and insulate your attic hatch or door. Seal up holes in the attic that lead down into the house such as open wall tops and ducts, and plumbing or electrical runs. Any hole that leads from the basement or a crawlspace to the attic is a big energy waster.

Close Off the Chimney

If you wish to close off your chimney, install glass doors or inserts to keep the heat from getting sucked out of the house. If you are going to use your fireplace, hire a chimney sweep to clean it out annually and inspect the damper for proper opening and closing to minimize the chances of heat escaping.

Seal Doors & Windows

Using weather stripping around doors will prevent cold air from entering your home. As you check all of your exterior doors make sure the weather stripping is intact. If the weather stripping has deteriorated or is non-existent, install it on the sides and top of the door. The bottom of every exterior door should have a sweep running along the bottom.

Make sure all double hung windows are pulled up. Sometimes the top half may slip down unknowingly if the catches are not securely locked. If you have a basement, consider protecting its window wells by covering them with plastic shields.