Embracing the Cold Season: Top Tips Winterize Your Home in 2023

Nov 08 2023
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Winter is a really big deal where we live and I don’t think its ever too far from our minds even in the middle of August. Last year we had over 7 straight months with snow on the ground… It was rough and not normal. But snow on the ground for 5 months is likely and we can see some very dangerous low temperatures too. Because of that all of our heating bills can really go through the roof but there is a lot we can do to help!

Happy Bird Day, Xmas and New Years from my little spot here in Grandma's House! Weather report is short and brutal. Winter started and no one is happy about
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With winter right around the corner, most homeowners are getting their houses ready to embrace the cold season. Winterizing your home is not just about comfort; it’s a savvy move for your finances and your family’s well-being. 

Most homeowners recognize the importance of winterizing their homes to save on heating bills, so checking the crucial elements of your house to make sure they perform well is vital. This is especially true when it comes to the critical areas of windows and doors, which are often the weak links in keeping your home insulated. 

Addressing these can make a significant difference in your home’s energy efficiency and your own comfort. So, before the winter chill sets in, let’s walk through the essential steps to ensure your home is snug and energy-efficient, saving you money and keeping you warm.

Inspecting Windows & Doors

In an average home, poorly insulated windows and doors can account for up to 25% of total heat loss. As winter approaches, ensuring these critical areas are properly sealed is key to maintaining a warm and energy-efficient home. Here’s a straightforward checklist to help you inspect your windows and double doors:

  • Check for Drafts:
    • On a windy day, hold a tissue or light candle near the edges of windows and doors. A flicker or movement indicates a draft.
  • Examine the Sealant:
    • Look closely at the caulking around window frames. Cracks or gaps are clear signs that your units need to be replaced.
  • Inspect the Weather Stripping:
    • Check on the weather stripping for any tears or gaps. Over time, this stripping can deteriorate and may need to be replaced.
  • Look for Condensation:
    • Noticeable moisture between panes of glass can suggest a failed seal, which might require professional repair or replacement.
  • Assess the Operation:
    • Windows and doors should open and close smoothly. Difficulty in operation can be a sign of warping or other issues that might impact the seal.
  • Visual Inspection:
    • Check for visible signs of wear and tear. Peeling paint, wood rot, or rust can indicate that moisture is affecting the frame and potentially the insulation quality.

Addressing these points can significantly reduce heat loss, leading to a more comfortable and cost-effective winter season.

Sealing and Insulation: The Essentials for a Warm Home

Tackling the issue of heat loss through windows and doors is crucial for maintaining a warm and energy-efficient home during the cold winters. Here’s a practical guide to sealing and insulating these critical areas:

  • Apply Weather Stripping. Install new weather stripping around movable components of windows and doors. This simple action can prevent a significant amount of heat from escaping.
  • Caulk the Gaps. Use caulk to fill any cracks or gaps around window and door frames. This not only stops drafts but also helps keep out moisture.
  • Use Insulating Foam Sealant. For larger gaps, especially around door frames and window sills, expanding foam sealant can provide a more robust solution.
  • Install Door Sweeps. Attach door sweeps to the bottoms of your exterior doors. They’re effective at blocking drafts and easy to install.
  • Consider Window Insulation Film. Apply clear insulation film to windows. It’s an inexpensive way to add an extra layer of insulation, and it’s virtually invisible.

Comprehensive Home Winterization: Other Key Areas to Inspect

To ensure your home stands firm against the winter cold, here are essential points to inspect and why they’re important:

  1. Heating System Efficiency. A well-maintained heating system can operate up to 15% more efficiently than a neglected one, saving energy and money. Hence, checking and replacing filters and scheduling a professional maintenance should be your number 1 priority.
  2. Gutters and Downspouts. The state of your gutters and downspouts is more important than it might appear. When leaves and debris clog them, water can back up, forming ice dams that weigh heavily on your roof and siding. By keeping these channels clear and ensuring they are properly aligned and securely attached, you prevent water buildup and protect the integrity of your home’s exterior.
  3. Attic Insulation. Improper attic insulation accounts for up to 25% of a home’s overall heat loss. Checking the thickness and condition of your insulation, as well as being vigilant for any signs of dampness or animal intrusion, is crucial. Not only does proper insulation maintain a warm and cozy home, but it also slashes heating costs, making it a smart financial move as well.
  4. Water Pipes. The insulation of water pipes, particularly in unheated areas of your home, cannot be overlooked. Frozen pipes are a nightmare, often bursting and leading to extensive water damage. A smart thermostat can help maintain a consistent temperature throughout your home, reducing the risk of freezing and giving you peace of mind during the coldest days.

By addressing these key areas, you’re not just preparing for the cold—you’re investing in your home’s longevity, energy efficiency and market value. 

Embracing Winter with a Well-Prepared Home

As the winter season approaches, taking the time to inspect and update your home key areas thoroughly can make all the difference. From the solid ptotection provided by well-maintained windows and doors to the crucial checks on heating systems and insulation, each step is an integral part of the seasonal shift. It’s not just about immediate comfort; it’s about protecting your home from the elements and ensuring its longevity. Remember, the effort you put into winterizing your home pays dividends in energy savings, reduced wear and tear on your home, and, most importantly, the cozy warmth that greets you no matter how cold it gets outside. 

I'm not going to beat around the bush with this one as December 2022 pretty much just sucked for us lol. Xmas was still lovely of
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