With winter creeping in here in the Midwest, I am stuck in that weird transition period where I drive to work with my heat on and when I get off work I roll the windows all the way down! Alas, I can’t be quite so careless with my thermostat at home, or our utility bill would be through the roof. So, slowly but surely, I’ve started to winterize my house for the coming months. I am fairly new at this, so I’d like to share with you some things I already do as well as some things I’ve discovered, but I would really love to hear your ideas on this one!
Seal Everything Up
I figured we would start with the most obvious… keep that warm air in and cool air out! Lock all windows and doors that lead to outside, as it will help create a tighter seal. I would also consider investing or creating a door guard for any of your doors with cracks underneath.
You can also add extra insulation to windows that are a little bit older, perhaps in the basement. You would just need to cut the insulation to the correct size and secure it in the windowsill. Additionally, I have insulated curtains I purchased on Amazon, so they weren’t very expensive, but still very effective at trapping in the cold air! Alternatively, you could add a window liner if you are happy with the curtains you have now 🙂
This is something I remember climbing on my bed to do while I was growing up, although I didn’t know why at the time! If you have a reverse switch on your fans, you’ll want to make sure your blades are turning clockwise for the winter season. Essentially, it just helps push hot hair downward from the ceiling—especially if you have high ceilings!
Take Care of Your Water
You’re cold, the weather is cold, everything is cold. I hate it. But because of this, your water is going to automatically feel a little warmer to you. This means you can turn your water heater down, at least a few degrees, and save a few bucks each month by not scorching your water.
Additionally, you’ll want to make sure all exterior water is drained—garden hoses, sprinklers, etc. Any pipes or hoses with water in them can freeze and burst in low temperatures; something easily avoidable and not cheap to fix!
Replace Your Air Filters
Be sure to replace your furnace filter before turning on your heat! The dirtier your filter is, the harder your furnace has to work AND it makes your house extra dusty. If you have a newer home, you might have additional filters in vents throughout your home, so be sure to change those as well. This is something you should try to do monthly throughout the season!
Last year, I was embarrassingly THAT person who waited until the first snow, and then realized my ice scraper was buried in my trunk… Don’t be me, guys. You’ll want to have supplies ready for snow storms before they happen! Otherwise, you run the risk of getting stuck in the house, potentially for days, or having the winter supplies you need out of stock because everyone else waited too.
Clean out Your Gutters/Install Leaf Guards
This is something I’ve recently learned—clogged gutters can mean moisture in the house! Your gutters are there simply to get water away from your roof and home, but if the water cannot run in the gutter system, it will run down your home or along your foundation. Anna over at Blessed Beyond Crazy actually installs leaf guards to avoid the problem all together.
These are just a few of the most simple and universal ways to help prepare your home and wallet for winter. The possibilities are really endless—you can insulate your pipes and water heater, invest in a programmable thermostat, insulate the attic if needed, etc. It’s all about how far you want to take it!
Like I said, I am kind of a newbie with winterizing my house—I’d love to hear new ideas! How do you guys prepare for winter? Share with me in the comments below!