It’s Getting Cold Outside

cold weather home preparation tips

Cold Weather Home Preparation Tips

Cold weather is finally upon us this year.  We may get a few more nice days, but it is time to let the warm weather go and make sure we are ready for the cold.  Below are our cold weather home preparation tips.  Goodness knows you are going to need something to break the ice with the in-laws in holiday gatherings.  After preparing your house for cold weather, you will find some common experiences to talk about.

It's draft day

Not your fantasy draft.  You wish.  Today is the day for you to go to all the exterior doors in your house and check them for drafts.  This is an easy task and requires no formal training.  Simply run your hand along the edges of your door.  Drafts come in more places than just under the door.  As your house settles, the door frames may adjust and leave gaps along the sides or the top.

Once you identify the drafty spots, make a couple of notes for each door.  You generally will need one or more of the three following items.

  • New Door Sweep – If you have a draft coming in from under your door, chances are a new door sweep can solve your problem.  Yes you can throw one of those multicolored rugs down or get a draft dodger, but why not just fix the door.  This will actually help you all year round.  It also keeps the cool air in during the summer months.
cold weather home tips

Cost: Less than $20
per door

  • Weather Stripping – Houses settle as they age.  When this happens, your door frames adjust and gaps form at the seals.  In many cases, you can see light shining through from the outside.  This is where you will need a new seal.  You can replace the entire door frame seal or simply get some weather stripping to fill the gaps.  You will be able to decide based on the amount of light you see and draft you feel coming in.
Home winter weather tips

Cost: $3 – $100 
Depending on how
much you have to fix

  • Window Insulating Film – Doors that have windows in them are great for letting light in, but they also radiate the cold from the outside into your home.  If you have sliding glass doors or just a door with a large window in it, you should insulate that window with a film barrier.  You can purchase these in kits.  They are fairly simple to install and will save you money in the long run.
cold weather home tips

Cost: Less than $20 
For a sliding glass
door kit

cold weather home preparation tips

To the window....to the wall

Your windows are other large sources of heat loss in your home.  If it is cold enough outside, then you will feel the cold coming off the window simply by standing near it.  This can make finding any drafts a little tougher since it is already colder near the window.  Just like you did with your doors, run your hand along the perimeter of your windows.  Go a little slower so you can feel any drafts.

Once you identify drafty areas from your windows, make notes on what you will need to fix them.  As with doors, there are usually three main ways to remedy drafty windows.

winter home preparation tips
Window Film Insulation Kit – Just like your doors with glass in them, your windows leak heat through the glass.  An inexpensive fix for this is a window film insulation kit.
Winter weather home preparation tips
Caulk – Fill in any of the cracks or gaps around your window sill/frame as well as between the glass and the frame.  Make sure not to caulk the window shut.  It might not seem like it, but you can lose a lot of heat (and money) through these little cracks.
Cold weather winter preparation tips
Curtains – Get something other than those blinds to cover the windows.  Not only will it help you stay warm, but it makes a house a home.  Keep north facing curtains closed when possible.  Open south facing curtains to let the sun in during the day and close them at night.

This is a good start to winterizing your home.  If you like what you see, please subscribe to our email newsletter below or like our Facebook page so you can see more posts like this one.  Like the Stark’s say, “Winter is coming”, and we have several energy saving blogs coming up for you to read.

If you want to read more about how to make your home more energy efficient right now, check out our home energy savings checklist.  It will be a huge help for you.

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