Skip to main content

Do these 10 things to prepare your home for winter weather

Autumn is a beautiful season full of gorgeous landscapes and cute knit sweaters. It’s also a season that gives your pocketbook a break when it comes to your home’s energy bill since you’re in that sweet spot between running your cooling system on high and turning on the heat. Take advantage of this time to prepare your home for the coming cold so that it’s as energy efficient as possible when winter rolls around. Snowfalls and freezing temperatures are around the corner, but your heating bill doesn’t have to skyrocket. Do these ten tasks to prepare your home for winter and soften the blow of those steep energy bills.

house with red front door in winter
Spiroview Inc / Shutterstock

Inspect and repair your furnace

Your furnace hasn’t been used for many months, so give it a once over to be sure it’s in good working condition. You don’t want to learn that your heating system is broken during the first freezing day of the year.

Recommended Videos

Replacing the furnace filters on your own is a great first step, but we recommend also calling in a professional to thoroughly inspect the furnace, give it a tune-up, and make any necessary repairs to make it more energy-efficient. Nothing puts dollar signs on your heating bill like a furnace that’s not properly operating.

Insulate your water heater and hot water pipes

As your water warms and travels through the pipes, heat can escape during its journey, causing your water heater to work harder and use more energy. Insulate your water heater by wrapping it in a heat-safe blanket that you can purchase at your local hardware store. Wrap your pipes with special pipe-insulating sleeves made of rubber foam to keep the water in the pipes nice and hot.

Insulate your attic

Heat rises, so if your attic is poorly insulated, the heat in your home will easily escape, and your energy bill will certainly show it. Before the temperature drops too low, check your attic for drafts and cool air coming through the walls. If you feel significant drafts, install some insulating foam to keep the warm air inside.

Check your windows and doors for drafts

Heat also tends to escape through poorly insulated windows and doors. Even if they’re closed, gaps and cracks in the panes and moldings release that much-needed heat. Feel around your windows and outside doors for drafts and locate any areas that need extra insulation. Caulk any gaps, both inside and outside, to prevent warm air from slipping away.

Install storm windows

If you don’t already have storm windows, fall is the time to install them. Storm windows provide an extra layer of insulation to prevent your heat from escaping. This project is easy to do on your own and doesn’t necessarily require help from a professional unless you have especially large or custom windows.

Winter outside through french doors in white living room
Antoha713 / Shutterstock

Change to winter-appropriate window treatments

Again, your windows allow a lot of heat to escape, whether it’s through cracks in the moldings or the thin, uninsulated glass. Thick, heavy curtains or insulating blinds are great ways to trap warm air inside.

Switch ceiling fans to winter mode

Since heat rises, your ceiling fans pull air up while they’re in summer mode, pushing cool air down below where bodies are. In the winter, you want to keep this warm air so you can stay toasty warm. Switch your ceiling fans over to winter mode, reversing the rotation of the blades. This will push warm air down instead of pulling it up, leading to a warmer living space and lower heating bills.

Install a smart thermostat

Smart thermostats are extraordinarily convenient. You can program one to automatically go into eco-mode and reduce the indoor temperature while you’re at work, on vacation, or sleeping. There’s nothing worse than returning home after a long day and realizing the heat was blasting on high the whole time. Some smart thermostats can even lower the temperature in areas of your home that you’re not using. So, if you work from home, for example, it can turn down the temperature in the whole house except for your home office, saving you a bundle on heating costs.

Insulate electrical outlets

Surprisingly, heat can slip out of a room through the electrical outlets, particularly if they’re on an exterior wall. Prevent this energy drain by insulating your outlets with rubber foam outlet gaskets to block any gaps or cracks.

Unblock heating vents

Your heat may be cranking and adding dollars to your heating bill, but if the vent is blocked, you’ll never feel the warmth. Take a look around every room in your home and be sure all heating vents are cleaned up and not blocked by furniture, pictures, or other obstructive items.

Winter is certainly coming, and your heating bill will inevitably be higher than you’d like it to be. You can give your wallet a break this year by winterizing your home and keeping more of that much-needed heat inside. With these ten tasks, your home will be comfortable and energy-efficient, just in time for winter weather.

Editors' Recommendations

Veronica Sparks
Veronica Sparks is a writer from Milwaukee, Wisconsin who loves writing about gardening, home décor, and DIY life. She’s…
The best air compressors for your personal projects
the best car lifts for your garage air compressor in working position at snow  self inflating

Whether you are looking for a small air compressor for home or a more-robust solution for your workshop, we have researched and vetted the top options available in the market and compiled only the best models for your shopping convenience.

When choosing your ideal air compressor, you need to pay attention to specs such as tank size, weight, noise levels, and the most important, PSI (pounds per square inch). All professional applications call for a compressor with a high-capacity tank and a high PSI to handle the demands of industrial tools like a nail gun, pneumatic lifts, and spray-paint rigs.
AstroAI Air Compressor
Best overall

Read more
The best jump-starters
best garage door sensors for safety portable power bank and vehicle jump starter

When your car battery dies, you feel stranded and frustrated. No need to experience that anymore. Portable jump-starters are a practical and handy solution that everyone should keep in their trunk, to easily resolve an emergency situation without having to wait around or pay for a towing service.

Calling a towing service to jump-start your car or asking a stranger for help is a thing of the past. With the portable jump-starters on our list, you can keep a charged battery in your trunk and get your car back up and running on your own at any time. It’s simple as that. Let’s take a look at our favorites.
AstroAI Portable Car Jump-Starter
Best overall

Read more
5 things you should never bother to fix when selling your house
Save yourself some time and stress by not touching these things
Guy on ladder painting exterior of house

So it's time to sell your home, and no doubt your head is spinning thinking about repairs, realtors, open houses, finding a new home, and more. Surely you don’t want to add unnecessary stressors to the mix of the chaos of selling your house.

To remove some items from your to-do list, learning what not to fix when selling a house can help. There are some things you can get away without fixing when selling your home — and the best part is, you won’t feel like you’re trying to pull a fast one on the homebuyers.

Read more