Sharing 27 things that you can do to get your home ready for Winter to avoid a headache and ensure that your home can endure the long, cold months without causing you and your home problems.
Fall is finally upon us and I am about to cut all of my beautiful tall wheat grasses down in prep for Winter.
Last year I did this in October and I am so glad I did because then it snowed right after that and the really cold winter with blizzards and freezing temps lasted pretty much into Spring!
I love Jack Frost nipping at my nose and all of that, but do get worried about things that can go wrong with my home when it is that cold.
One year, in the middle of a terribly cold Winter day, I had a horrible headache and wasn’t feeling very well and neither were the kids.
Our carbon monoxide detector started going off shortly after that so I called the fire department. Do you know what happened??
It turns out that our carbon monoxide levels were so high that they were life-threatening and they immediately shut off our gas, they made us leave and they had to air out our house.
Again, let me point out this was in the middle of Winter. We were able to return once the levels normalized but we didn’t have heat for days! They wouldn’t turn on our gas again until we identified and mitigated the issue causing the high levels. We had to bring in space heaters and we all slept in the same bed as a family in the one warm-ish room in the house.
I read that approximately 420 people die every year from accidental CO poisoning. But we all survived because I had installed a carbon monoxide detector and the batteries were checked.
This is just one of the things on my list so….let’s dive in and work on prepping your home for Winter!
How to get your home ready for Winter:
- Inspect your furnace and replace the air filters. You can check out how to change the air filter in your ceiling in my post!
- So many of us have gas-burning fireplaces, but if you have a wood-burning fireplace then it’s time to clean your ashes out and have your chimney inspected by a professional and possibly cleaned.
- Install or replace a door draft stopper or door sweep – the rubber strip at the bottom of the door that helps to seal it from drafts and weather. This draft stopper just sticks on and this draft stopper is screwed into the door.
- Insulate your attic and crawl space.
- If you see any daylight when you’re in your attic then you can easily seal it up with insulating spray foam.
- Wrap your outdoor pipes with insulation to prevent freezing and cover your spigots. I like these foam covers to cover our spigots. They are easy to put on and remove and we have had no issues. Plus they are really inexpensive.
- Drain and shut off outdoor faucets (including the one in your garage if you have one) and remove any hoses.
- Clean gutters and downspouts of debris. These gutter covers are awesome if you have large trees around you. Definitely worth the investment to keep the gutters clean and reduce the clean-up time!
- Trim trees, cut down grasses and bushes, and clear any debris from your yard.
- Add a winterizing fertilizer to the grass. My favorite brand of fertilizer is from Sunday.com and sprays on with the hose and is pet and kid-friendly!
- Install a programmable thermostat to save energy. This Smart Thermostat works with Alexa and can be on your porch tomorrow!
- Test your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and replace any batteries.
- Stock up on emergency supplies such as flashlights and batteries and have everything in one box just in case you have a bad ice storm and need supplies. Indiana has some TERRIBLE ice storms. I had never seen anything like it until we moved there!
- Consider installing a backup generator or having one in the garage in case of a power outage.
- Check your roof for any leaks or damage as well as your basement for any leaky pipes.
- Replace any worn weatherstripping and old or damaged caulking around doors and windows.
- Check for drafts around windows and doors. If you do find that you have drafty windows or doors, you can buy this self-adhesive foam and apply it in minutes!
- Add insulation to an unfinished garage in between the studs to help keep the house warm. It could cost maybe $500 if you DIY it, but so worth it! And, if you ever finish your garage it will already be insulated!
- Reverse your ceiling fans to help circulate warm air.
- If you have a basement and have ONE control thermostat in your home (not an extra, separate one in your basement for another zone), then check your basement air vents for proper airflow. I have to do this every year because we opted not to spend the thousands more it would cost to have a dual-zone HVAC system in our basement when I finished it. —-Here’s how to check your basement vents in the ceiling— Unscrew and remove the vent cover, reach inside (about half arm’s length) and push the lever that goes across the whole vent forward into the vent to allow heat to flow out. Place the cover back on and then be sure the slats are open. Then go upstairs and toggle the vents closed that you don’t NEED to be open. In the Summer, you will need to reverse the airflow to stop A/C going to the basement since basements are much cooler than the rest of the home.
- Check your foundation for any cracks or gaps and fill with an expandable caulk.
- If you have single-paned windows then you can insulate them with a clear film so that you still get in the light. This clear insulating film is perfect for long, cold winters and will keep the heat in and cold out! It also has an over 4800 4.8 rating!
- Store your outdoor cushions or cover your furniture. This water-resistant, extra-large bag is perfect for your outdoor cushion storage! (It also makes great Christmas tree storage.) You can leave it on a covered patio or
- Seal any gaps around electrical outlets and switches. You can use a simple can of spray-insulating foam or a thin piece of backer rod (a cylinder-shaped strip of foam).
- Keep your thermostat set to a consistent temperature to prevent pipes from freezing.
- Inspect your dryer vent and remove any lint buildup. It is really easy to use a kit to DIY this job and it costs $10.
- Stock up on salt or sand for icy sidewalks and driveways.
Download my printable list of 27 Things to do to get your Home ready for Winter
I hope this helps you feel confident in prepping your home for the upcoming cold months while we still have some beautiful, sunny days available and before the days get shorter and the air gets too cold to want to do these things. Stay safe and have a great week ahead!