Top Ten Ways to Winterize Your Home

The leaves are just starting to turn colors, which means that winter is right around the corner. It’s time to perform some simple fixes that will save your household hundreds of dollars and plenty of headaches during the upcoming long winter months!

Clean, Clean, Clean

It’s truly amazing how much money we can save around the house by simply cleaning. Wipe down your windows and sills in each room, and make note of any cracks or leaks that need to be repaired. Get up on a ladder and scoop the gunk out of your gutters and repair any broken sections to prevent future water damage. Dust the tops of the fan blades near the ceilings and clean out any air filters in your home. Wash the exterior of your home with some good old-fashioned soap and water, and touch up any faded paint.

Caulk and Strip

Remember those clean windows that have cracks or leaks? Use caulk and a caulking gun to repair around windows, doors, and the exterior of your home. Consider weather-stripping around doors and windows as well to prevent drafts and water damage. Don’t forget to caulk around sinks and toilets!


Insulation is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve your home. If your walls are well insulated, check your attic floor, basement ceiling and garage. Pipes are vulnerable to cold and severe weather and can be protected with pipe foam from your local hardware store.

Check the Ducts

Ductwork snakes deep within the recesses of your home. If your home is older and the ducts haven’t been cleaned in awhile, take the grates off the vents and clean out the ducts with your vacuum. If you’re concerned about leaks, hire a trusted professional to test the ductwork and seal up any problem areas.

Fix the Leaks

Leaky faucets and running toilets are a drain on your household and your wallet. Fortunately, they’re easy to fix. When replacing the washer in your faucet, install an aerator to reduce water flow. Check your drains and clear any blockages.

Manage Heat

Programmable thermostats help control the temperature in your home without constant supervision. A good thermostat costs about $50, and your household will quickly earn its money back through energy savings. If its been awhile, have your furnace checked and tuned up for maximum performance. To save even more, turn down the hot water heater to 120 degrees or less.

Consider Upgrades

Regular maintenance can keep your appliances running well, but it might be time for an upgrade or two. If you find serious problems with your furnace or water heater or if it’s time for a replacement, consider buying high efficiency models. Research federal and state tax credits that may apply to your purchase, multiplying your savings.

Circulate Indoor Air

Ceiling fans are great in the summer, but they’re also helpful in winter. If possible, change the setting of your ceiling fan so that it runs in reverse. This circulates the air and forces hot air down from the ceiling into the rest of the room.

Be Aware

Carbon monoxide is silent, odorless and lethal. If you haven’t yet, consider purchasing a carbon monoxide detector for your home to warn your family of any danger.

Sweater Up!

Make sure you have an ample supply of warm clothing. Put on a sweater, sweatshirt or blanket and socks to stay warm without turning up the heat. Use a blanket and snuggle up on those long winter nights!

They’ll take a little time, but the improvements made now can save your household hundreds of dollars throughout the rest of the year.

Kelly Wilson is a busy mom, freelance writer, and an expert at saving money. Obsessed with finding the best deal, she never goes anywhere without a coupon. She is the author of Live Cheap & Free! Strategies to Thrive in Tough Economic Times, as well as numerous articles and short stories for children and adults. Kelly lives with her husband and two small children in Portland, Oregon.

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