8 Simple Upgrades to Get You Ready for Cold Weather

Dec 01 2020
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I think as Minnesotans its never far from our minds that cold weather is on its way even when its 100 degrees and the middle of July. Certainly its always on my mind. Between making sure I get hay put up for the horses, the countless small things to do around here before winter and making sure we have enough pellets put away for us for the wood stove, I never quite forget that winter is coming. This year we added curtains, a wall, a new door and a new doggie door to combat cold weather!

Happy Bird Day, Xmas and New Years from my little spot here in Grandma's House! Cold Weather report is short and brutal. Winter started and no one is happy about(This is a contributed post, for more information about my compensation please read my disclosure policy)

Fall and winter are fast approaching. Whether you’re not a fan of chilly temperatures or your home tends to feel frigid in the latter part of the year, there are several things you can do now to make your household more comfortable and energy efficient by the start of the holiday season. Browse through the list of projects below to make the upgrades that fit your lifestyle, personality and budget.

  1. Caulk Around Doors

Air leaks around your exterior doors will let both wind and glacial drafts inside. Inspect your openings for old or missing caulk and replace it with new material. First, use a pry bar to remove aged excess. Next, clean the surface with rubbing alcohol. Once the surface is free of debris, let it air dry. Purchase a new caulk tube in the shade of your choice at your local home improvement store. Cut the top at a 45-degree angle with a box cutter.

When you’re ready to begin caulking, use a slow, steady hand to create a solid strip down the span of the casing. Give the substance time to dry before closing the door. In a short time, you’ll enjoy warmer door areas and an overall more comfortable home.

  1. Add Carpets or Area Rugs

Wood and tile are easy to clean, but they make feet chilly when the temperature drops lower. Compensate on the cheap with a few area rugs. Place them in bedrooms or living rooms, especially next to beds and near couches and sofas. You can also find small rugs for kitchens and bathrooms that resist moisture.

If you wish, you can also install carpet on top of your hard floor. Search for a plush yet stain-resistant material that matches your interior décor. Make the process simple by hiring an experienced installation professional.

  1. Install a Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat will heat your house to the ideal temperature, no matter where you are. It will also help you save on energy costs. The most convenient and useful models allow you to program them from your smartphone, so you can lower the temperature when you’re on vacation or at work. When you’re heading home, raise it again so each room feels toasty as soon as you walk in the door.

Innovations in heating and cooling make it possible to purchase even the smartest products for under $200. Consider it a holiday gift for the entire family–as well as an investment that will give back all year. When it gets warmer in the spring and summer, your thermostat will help you to save on your cooling bill.

  1. Update Your Windows and Window Treatments 

If you can feel cool air coming in from your closed windows, it’s time for new ones. Breaches in your openings cost hundreds of energy dollars to fly out of your home each year. Signs that you need replacement include worn or absent weather stripping, cracked panes and deteriorated frames.

Obtain a few quotes from reputable window replacement companies in your area. Ask them to provide you with energy-efficient models. Tax credits are available for ENERGY STAR certified products.

If your windows are still in good shape, you may just need new custom blinds to help against cold weather. Honeycomb shades, wood blinds and faux wood blinds are excellent choices because of their insulation properties. Purchasing directly from the manufacturer will ensure your treatments fit the exact measurements of each space because the last thing you want is living room blinds that don’t fit your windows.

Painting out a faux stone chimney in white so I hate it a lot less now. Beginning the big remodel of my living room with a brand new sofa and paint!

  1. Repaint Your Interior

Even if you can adequately warm your home, you may still get the winter blues. Take the time now to paint your rooms a fresh, bright hue. Rustic red, copper and brown are popular paint colors that also complement most interiors.

These shades will make living rooms, bedrooms and home offices feel cozier. If you want to evoke the sun, try Tuscan orange, sunbaked yellow or persimmon which helps so much when the cold weather blues kick in.

  1. Change the Furnace Filter

Furnace filters are easy and affordable to replace. Making the switch will allow your appliance to heat your home faster while helping cut down on expensive cold weather utility bills. Purchase the cheapest variety for as little as $5 at your home improvement store.

If you can spend a few more dollars, invest in an efficient, pleated product for about $20 total. The higher-end models will help trap allergens and pet dander while keeping your furnace running smoothly.

To DIY a replacement, turn off your machine and locate your existing filter. Most furnaces house them inside the appliance itself–or nearby in the return air vent. Once you spot it, examine the filter for an arrow.

This symbol indicates airflow direction. Place the new product with the arrow facing the same way as before. Replace the cover and, just like that, you’re done. Swap every 2-3 months for best results.

  1. Insulate Your Attic

If you haven’t insulated your attic in a while, now is a great time. It’s an effective strategy for keeping heat inside your home–and it’s also simple and affordable to do. Additional benefits include less wear and tear on your furnace and improved indoor air quality. Should you currently have some insulation upstairs, add a second layer of batting to your old one. Make sure it lies perpendicular to the other material for the most protection.

  1. Consider Buying a Generator

Some areas of the United States suffer from severe winter storms. If wind and tree damage is a problem in your community, think about investing in a home generator. There are a variety of models in a range of prices, depending on your budget.

Visit your home improvement store to get started. A quality machine can be invaluable for keeping your family safe and comfortable while you wait for the power to turn back on during cold weather.

Tackling even a couple of these items can drastically improve your contentment and budget this year. Whether you are interested in a weekend project or a quick fix, this list has something for everyone. With all of the money you save on repairs and utility bills, who knows what else you can accomplish by January.

Purchase upgraded holiday gifts, take a few more days off or go on a winter family vacation.

I think as Minnesotans its never far from our minds that cold weather is on its way even when its 100 degrees and the middle of July.(This is a contributed post, for more information about my compensation please read my disclosure policy)

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