Affordable Ways to Winterize Your Home

hands applying winterizing window film
  • 1-20 hours
  • Beginner
  • 5-300

Properly winterizing your home can save you a bundle of money in heating costs, and it’s also a way to avoid damage that might be costly next season. Take steps now to be more comfortable when the winter weather rolls in.

1. Door Insulation

On a drafty day, you may notice cool air coming through the sides of door frames. Winterizing this is an easy and inexpensive fix with a roll of door insulation. Simply purchase, peel, and stick to any gaps, including those that might be hidden behind the door trim.

2. Window Film

Windows are a major source of heat loss and cold-air entry. Make your space cozier while reducing the need for additional heating with the help of easy-to-find kits at the home improvement store. The plastic film sticks to the window frame. Once you have the sheets installed across the window, use a hairdryer to shrink them for a tight and efficient fit.

3. Door Sweep

Use door sweeps on all exterior doors for added draft protection. They are easy to install and inexpensive to purchase.

4. Draft Stopper

door with double sided draft stopper on wood floor

Similarly, you can use draft stoppers on all interior or exterior doors. Draft stoppers are made from a variety of materials and they work by simply blocking cold air from moving in beneath the door. You can buy or make draft stoppers. You can even use a rolled towel to do the job.

5. Reverse Ceiling Fans

If your ceiling fans have a switch that changes the direction of the blades, use the setting to reverse blades into winter mode. This helps push warm air back down into the room from the ceiling where it gathers.

6. Change the Furnace Filter

Be sure to replace your furnace filter at least every three months and as often as once a month. Maintain your furnace with an HVAC service provider twice a year to enhance the performance and the life of your furnace.

7. Outlet Insulators

For a few dollars, you can get a package of insulation pieces sized to fit your outlets. Simply remove the cover, place the insulation, and put the outlet cover back on.

8. Curtains

Cover those drafty windows with thick curtains for efficient protection from cold drafts. In conjunction with window film, you could see substantial cold-weather savings.

9. Water Heater Blanket

Water heaters have to work harder during cold weather to keep hot water at the ready. Make your water heater’s job easier with a water heater blanket. It acts as insulation and adds to efficiency.

10. Faucet Covers

Outdoors, be sure to turn off all exterior faucets and remove hoses. Then attach inexpensive faucet covers to each unit to help prevent freezing and damage.

11. House Vent Covers

Walk around your house and you’ll see vents along the foundation. These vents help circulate air throughout the seasons, but in the winter they allow cold air into the base of your house, which can significantly affect the temperature of the home. Head to the home improvement store for simple pieces of foam that fit into the space and offer insulation. You can even make your own by cutting thick foam to size.

12. Wrap Pipes

worker wrapping insulation and tape around interior pipes

If you have exposed pipes, grab some pipe insulation tubes or tape to wrap them in. Pipe insulation keeps the pipes from freezing, which is not only inconvenient but can cause extensive and expensive damage.

13. Check Smoke Detectors and Fire Extinguishers

On the opposite end of the freezing spectrum is the concern of winter house fires. Make sure your fire safety protocol is in place with a quick check of each smoke and CO2 detector in the home. Replace batteries as necessary and add a battery-powered option in older homes that may not offer a smoke detector on every level and outside every bedroom as part of the wired system.

In addition, make sure to have fire extinguishers in the kitchen, garage, and near fire sources such as wood stoves. Make sure your fire extinguisher is charged by looking at the dial on the meter near the top.

14. Clean Chimney

You can call a professional to perform a chimney clean and inspection, and you should periodically. However, you can also clean your chimneys yourself with a rented, borrowed, or purchased chimney sweep.

15. Shutters and Storm Doors

Adding protection to the outside of your home helps prevent damage. DIY window shutters or buy some to install. Depending on where you live, they may stay year-round or only be installed during the storm season. Similarly, make sure to replace storm doors and screens as needed.