Winterize your home and save! 8+ tips

December 5, 2012 | By

Winterize your home & save!

Home heating costs are never an “affordable” expense, and as oil prices continue to soar, the affordability continues to drop. That’s why it’s imperative to winterize your home. Whether your home is aging or fresh to the market it can benefit from these DIY winterizing tips.

Before I get into the list, the ONE thing everyone can do is to weather-strip their windows and doors! This simple move will save you a significant amount of money all on its own.

To start, look for drafts and determine to what extent weather-stripping is necessary. In an older home it’s pretty much a given. In newer homes that have been weather-stripped in previous years, check anyway. Cracks can appear anywhere and at any time, as your house shifts – new or not, every home is susceptible.

If you are unsure if you’re feeling any airflow, try holding a lit candle or match up to the spot in question. If the flame quivers, you’ll know you have work to do. If you’re still not convinced and are determined to seal up every crevice, have one person holds the candle up while another stands on the outside blowing air from a hair dryer in the direction in question.

The second step is to decide how to stop those troublesome gaps. Smaller cracks can be caulked in order to close the gap. Other problem areas may need weather-stripping applied.

8 more winterizing tips to consider:

1. Clean those gutters – so that winter’s rain and melting snow can drain.

2. Insulate yourself – regardless of the climate conditions you live in, you should have a minimum of 12 inches of insulation in your attic.

3. Check the furnace – it’s a good idea to have your furnaces cleaned and tuned annually. Costs will often run about $100-$125.

4. Get your ducts in a row – a home with central heating can lose up to 60% of its heated air before that air reaches the vents if ductwork is not well connected and insulated, or if it must travel through unheated spaces.

5. Don’t forget the chimney – ideally, spring is the time to think about your chimney, but it’s never too late. That said; don’t put off your chimney needs before using your fireplace. Buy a protective cap for your chimney (with a screen). One other reminder: to keep out cold air, fireplace owners should keep their chimney’s damper closed when the fireplace isn’t in use. And for the same reason, woodstove owners should have glass doors on their stoves, and keep them closed when the stove isn’t in use.

6. Reverse that fan – reversing your ceiling fan is a small tip that people don’t often think of, by reversing its direction from the summer operation, the fan will push warm air downward and force it to re-circulate, keeping you more comfortable.

7. Wrap those pipes – a burst pipe caused by a winter freeze is a nightmare. Wrap them with pre-molded foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation, available at hardware stores. If you’re really worried about a pipe freezing, you can first wrap it with heating tape, which is basically an electrical cord that emits heat.

8. Finally, check those alarms – this is a great time to check the operation and change the batteries in your home’s smoke detectors. Detectors should be replaced every 10 years.

These winterizing tips will help you stay warm from the frigid outdoor breeze, prevent costly occurrences, and also help keep your wallets lined with savings!


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About the Author (Author Profile)

Andrew is a West Coast enthusiast through and through. He is a native of the area that you will often find adventuring on one of the many sea to sky activities that abound in the Fraser Valley. Along with being in love with the place he calls home, Andrew is a well known and respected Realtor focusing on helping others to find their own perfect home in Langley, Surrey, White Rock and beyond! Visit to find your perfect home.

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