How to Winterize a House? - 6 Affordable Ways

Posted by Shelly Salomon on November 02, 2023

The cold months are upon us, and while that means gorgeous views and several holidays, it also means that homeowners have to deal with a unique set of challenges.

Cold weather can cause a lot of problems for homes that are ill-equipped for the change in seasons. However, by following a home winterization checklist with tips on how to winterize a house, you will be able to protect your house from the problems that come with cold weather. You will also be able to create a shelter of warmth against the cold winter ahead.

Keep reading to learn how to get your house ready for winter by winterizing it properly in a cost-effective manner.

Home Winterization Checklist

1) Clean Out Your Gutters 

Winterizing a house requires cleaning, and a lot of it. Now, with the beautiful fall foliage, leaves can clog up your gutters and downspouts even more, creating a potential threat to your roof. As such, the first thing you should do is clean all the leaves and grime that have built up in your gutters throughout the seasons. Regular gutter cleaning, at least twice a year, helps protect your roof and prevents the need for costly repairs down the line. 

2) Have Your Fireplace and Chimney Cleaned

Speaking of cleaning, another area you can take care of as you winterize your home is the fireplace and chimney. Now is the perfect time to clean out all the used ashes and stock up on wood for this year's winter season. We recommend cleaning before use every year. This way, you won’t deal with soot buildup that creates unpleasant smells or keeps your fireplace from doing its job.

If you hate the idea of yearly fireplace maintenance but like the romance of a fireplace, consider looking into installing a gas one. These use fire-proof logs that resemble real ones but never need replacing. Along with that, you’ll never have to worry about soot clogging up your chimney ever again.

An idea worth considering: After getting your fireplace cleaned, consider designing a cozy sitting area in front of it. Add some comfortable seats and a small coffee table to create an inviting space perfect for relaxing by the fire. Here are eight more winter home decor ideas to get your home all cozy and welcoming. 

3) Check Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Residential fires tend to occur more frequently during the winter months, so verifying the functionality of your smoke detectors is crucial. We recommend checking your home's detectors monthly, or at least once every change of season, to ensure your detectors are working properly and have plenty of battery life.

If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector at home, now it's the time to consider installing one.  A carbon monoxide detector can prevent the unintentional accumulation of this hazardous gas within your home. Unlike regular smoke from fires, carbon monoxide does not emit an odor and typically you will not know you are being poisoned before it’s too late. This is why it is crucial that you install a detector to let you know if the gas is flooding your home, especially if you decide on a gas fireplace.

4) Check the Wear on Your Weather-Stripping

The weatherstripping around your doors and garage doors can wear away or fall apart, letting cold drafts in and forcing your heating system to work even harder. Interestingly enough, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, gaps in caulk and weatherstripping can account for 10% of your heating bills.

So, as you winterize your home, take the time to inspect door and window frames to identify any gaps or openings that require sealing. If necessary, consider replacing the weatherstripping on door frames and windows facing the exterior. Before installing new weatherstripping, remove any existing weatherstripping and clean the area using a mild detergent/soap and water.

An idea worth considering: To save more on heating bills, try turning down the temperature of your water heater. It might sound counterintuitive, but according to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating water is the second biggest electricity use in the home. Although manufacturers set the temperature at 140, our experience has shown that most people are comfortable with the setting at 120. Here are five more ways to save on winter heating costs.

5) Have Winter Tools Handy 

Winterizing a house is more than just cleaning or checking stuff around the house. Winterizing a house also entails stocking up essential cold-weather tools so you can be ready for whatever winter brings.

Specifically, in Western NC, snow and ice are just around the corner, so we recommend picking up winter essentials now so you don't find yourself scrambling later. Be sure to stock up on rock salt, windshield scrapers, tire chains, and snow shovels to keep at home and in your car.

6) Properly Store Yard Equipment

To complete our home winterization checklist, we don't want you to forget the yard and outdoor areas. With that in mind, make sure to scrub down all your patio furniture, then either cover or store it away. If you love to cook, your grill might also need a good cleaning. Drain gasoline out of your mower, roll up and detach your garden hose from the spigot, and store all your yard equipment in your garage or designated clean, dry location. Trust us, you don’t want to wait until it’s 30 below, and your hose is frozen solid.

An idea worth considering: The fall months are an excellent opportunity to complete some lawn care tasks that will ensure your yard looks stunning when spring rolls around. Here are six fall lawn maintenance tasks for a blooming spring.

Final Thoughts on How to Winterize a House

Winterizing a house is critical in ensuring a comfortable and energy-efficient home during the colder months. From sealing gaps and insulating windows to preparing your heating system and protecting your outdoor spaces, the process may seem like a substantial effort, but the benefits are well worth it. These easy steps covered in our home winterization checklist will help you create a cozy and well-insulated sanctuary that will keep you warm, save energy costs, and safeguard your property from winter-related damage. 

Live in a Winter Wonderland in Our Communities!

Do you want the gorgeous views that WNC has to offer year round? Vista Developers can work with you to design and build your custom dream home with a breathtaking view.

Whether you want to see snow covered mountains in the winter or the sun peeking over the tree covered mountaintops during the summer, WNC has it all! Give us a call at (866) 519-2400 or contact us online today to start planning your dream home!

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Tags: Home Maintenance Tips