THE BLOG
10/22/2014 03:23 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How to Winterize Your Home in 5 Easy Steps -- And Why You Should

Contribution by Andrea Davis

Need to winterize your home quickly? While you can hire home improvement professionals for the big tasks, there are a few you can do easily and effectively. Here are some winterization tasks you should seriously consider to keep your home warm and safe:

1. Clean your gutters.

Photo courtesy of DesignMine

Cleaning your gutters is a MUST. If you don't clean them out, the results could be catastrophic. Siding, foundation and ceilings can start deteriorating and hurt the rest of your home. So take the time on the weekend to climb up a ladder and clean the debris yourself or hire a professional gutter cleaning service. This will protect your home against water damage and save you hundreds to thousands of dollars on potential repairs.

2. Replace your furnace filter.

This is a project that's especially important in the winter for warmth. By checking the filter on a monthly basis and replacing it as needed, your furnace will heat your house more efficiently, saving you money on utility bills. Regular filter maintenance also keeps your furnace running longer, which saves you money on installing a new one. It's easy to replace furnace filters as long as you know what kind to buy and how to put it in. It's an instant repair with long-term benefits.

3. Install a programmable thermostat.

Photo courtesy of Air Temp Air Conditioning, Inc. in Port Saint Lucie, FL

If you live in a home with an outdated thermostat, it's costing you a lot in utility bills because it flips your HVAC on a lot. So why not spend a couple hundred dollars and a few hours on the weekend installing a programmable thermostat? It's efficient, regulates the temperature in your home and pays back in utility bill savings. You might have some issues with electrical wiring, depending on your old thermostat. If that's the case, an electrician can help you safely wire the new one.

4. Check your insulation.
Attic insulation is often overlooked by homeowners because it's pre-installed in the home. During the winter, it keeps a lot of the cold air from seeping through the ceiling. If it's degraded or missing in areas though, you're going to have problems. So homeowners should go up to their attic and check to see if there are pests, mold or other issues and address them immediately. This may require a professional in such cases, because they have the connections and experience to repair or lay new insulation.

5. Insulate your windows and doors.

Photo courtesy of Emmanual Home Consulting, Inc. in Thom Hill, ON

Your windows and doors potentially leak the hot air from your heater during the winter. You should lay your hand against their frames to feel for any cold air. In such cases, you will need to apply caulking or weather-stripping to seal the leaks. It's easy, very affordable and a project you can complete on the weekend. By doing so, you will save money on utility bills and keep your home cozy.

Why Winterize?

Photo courtesy of Paneless Glass Cleaning in Algoma, WI

Winterizing your home comes with a variety of benefits, the best of which is repair prevention. By taking steps to protect your home against possible dangers, you save thousands of dollars on repairs and potential replacements. Some dangers you otherwise face by not winterizing your home include:

  • Collapsed roof
  • Possibility of a fire
  • Carbon monoxide leak
  • Loss of electricity
  • Paying more for heating
  • Insurance claims
  • Flooding in rooms

It may seem like a hassle, but it makes the difference in a safe winter versus a stressful and taxing spring.

Photos courtesy of DesignMine