1. Check for leaks and drafts. In your attic, look for cracks under the eaves. Check around your windows and doors, and on the outside of your house.
2. Use caulk and weather stripping to seal up leaks in doors, windows, and between your home’s siding and foundation. Use caulk only on non-moving window panes and door jambs (such as between the jamb and the wall), or on and around your chimney. Caulk and weather stripping are inexpensive materials that can make a big difference in saving you money over the winter. Check your garage door, too.
3. Insulate your walls and attic. If you don’t already have insulation in your walls, get your walls insulated before winter. Insulation can be blown into the wall space itself, without having to do major renovations. Since heat rises, insulating your attic is also essential.
4. If possible, invest in double-glazed or double-pane windows. These windows are made from layers of glass with an inert gas (usually argon) sandwiched between them. They block out cold and noise, and are very good insulators. If replacing windows is not an option, look for storm windows. These are clear sheets that can be placed on the inside of your existing windows and left there all winter. When spring comes, you take them down. If storm windows aren’t an option either, then you can go to the local department store or hardware store and get some window coverings. These are commonplace, but the thing to look for is how many mils thick it is. Most are fairly thin, so it limits the amount of success you will have. I personally use all purpose plastic wrap, which hinders sight somewhat, but at 2.7 mils thick, it does a much better job, as it is more than two times thicker than conventional window coverings. The conventional window coverings do allow for better viewing outside though, so you can use that for windows you like to look out from.
5. There are also socket insulators, which will insulate your indoor sockets, which can be beneficial for those whom have limited insulation, and can’t afford to do it at the moment or rent.
6. Window and wall mounted air conditioners are another point for energy waste, as those can let in air like an open window. They have generic air conditioner covers for them, and they provide a good cover and protection for the unit itself and limit the amount of outside air that is able to penetrate you home or apartment. Another thing to look for, especially with wall mounted air conditioners is around the unit itself. I found mine to be as bad as an open widow, so I used the all purpose plastic wrap and covered over the whole unit and onto the surrounding walls with double thick all purpose wrap which helped a great deal. You can also get some air conditioning insulation foam to wrap around the air conditioner if you have access to it outside, which some of us don’t.
7. Insulate your water pipes to keep them from freezing. This also keeps your electric bill down because it slows down the time it takes for the hot water in the pipes to cool. Commercial pipe insulation is a simple foam tube that slips over your pipes. You can also make your own insulation using insulating material (such as bubble wrap or newspaper) and duct tape.
8. Clean out your gutters, and get gutter guards if possible. Dirty gutters can leak and the matter in them can freeze, causing damage to your gutters.
9. Change all your furnace filters if you haven’t already. Furnace filters are not expensive but they are essential for your furnace to function efficiently. Give your furnace a trial run and make sure it’s running well, and get it serviced before the cold sets in if necessary.
We hope that Winterizing Your Home How to Winterize Your Home helps you to save money, energy, and reduce your carbon footprint this winter as well as improve the comfort for everyone in your home!