Home Winterizing Ideas to Save Money

Winter weatherproofing and preparing the home for cold weather is important whether you live in a luxury home or a mobile home, as long as maintaining home during winter is important.  Start these 10 easy home winterizing tips around the end of October or beginning of November for those who live in the Western Hemisphere (includes U.S. and Canada).  Apply home winterizing tips if you live in parts of the Southern U.S. There is a saying that the desert will fry you during the day and freeze you to death at night. Weatherproof before cold weather moves in and use these 10 easy home winterizing tips to get your house ready for winter.

10 Easy Home Winterizing Tips

1. Disconnect and store all outside hoses. Do not leave the hoses connected to the spigot or you risk freezing pipes. Turn off the water and place a faucet insulator on the spigots to prevent them from freezing. Frozen pipes can be disastrous and cause a home emergency (and financial crisis). Using faucet insulators helps prepare hoses and faucets from freezing. Faucet heating tape can be purchased ahead of time to be prepared for an emergency, if not yours a neighbor, family member or friend. If you buy heating tape to prevent frozen pipes get the heat tape with a built-in thermostat that only turns heat on when needed. 

2. Winterize and insulate windows. Those with poorer quality windows like single-paned windows should insulate them. Insulating the windows can drastically cut down on your heating costs. The #1 selling weatherproofing product at Amazon is an affordable window insulator kit by 3M. Just by buying one easy to install window insulator kit you can do five windows. Caulk window sills to seal leaks. For those with the above mentioned window problem using caulk can help you seal up the places where your money is going out the window. Buy acrylic or caulking that you can paint. Caulking the window is an important and easy home winterizing tip that can be done by anyone. Caulking is water soluble so if you put too much in an area just wipe up after yourself. Another part of winter home maintenance is to remove window screens, wash them, and then store them. That is a good tip for winterizing a mobile home.

3. Replace furnace filters. Check all of your home appliances. An easy tip for home weatherization is to change the furnace filters. Some furnace filters are washable, but if they are old you can go to Home Depot or Amazon to get new ones. This is part of good home winterizing.

4. Clean the home's air ducts. Heating and air ducts are not as effective if they are dirty. They should be cleaned every 2-3 years depending on what goes on in the home to produce dirt and dust (fireplace or pellet stove). Just like a drying does not work as well if the dryer vent is plugged up neither does a heater vent. During the fall there are ads with the newspapers and in the mail for air duct cleaning discounts. This step is often overlooked, but for those with Asthma, allergies, breathing problems, fatigue, and other conditions. Servicing the air ducts will increase the quality of air you breath in your home. People drink filtered water so cleaning the air ducts for your heating and ventilation makes sense. Look for discounts.

5. Winterize fireplace or pellet stove. Clean and service the fireplace and wood pellet stove. Get the chimney cleaned. Chimney fires are preventable but occur each year. Before starting up the fireplace or wood pellet stove it is extremely important that you take maintenance steps to make sure they are safe. This home winterizing tip is very important when a pellet stove or fireplace is the only source of heat. They need good maintenance. Check the wood pellet stove for seal leaks. If there is an indication something is wrong call a reputable person to service the wood pellet stove or fireplace. Clues that you need a pro are smoke leaking into the room, carbon monoxide detector alarms, or improper drafting. Chimney sweepers and servicemen who work on fireplaces regularly do not know how to do pellet stoves.

6. Clean the gutters. An important home winterizing tip is to clean and check the gutters. If the gutters get filled with leaves then this can cause flooding and other problems. The purpose of roof gutters is to properly drain water and other stuff from the roof of your home. Make sure the gutters are clean and that any roof spouts are working. It is also a good time to check for roof damage. Although you may not notice it inside yet if you do spot some damage on the roof then you can get to it early before it gets worse. You definitely want to winterize the roof if it needs it. 

7. Weatherstrip and seal drafts with door sweeps. Weatherstripping the doors helps to seal drafts. If you apply weatherstripping and then put door sweeps on the doors you should notice a big difference. Door sweeps help insulate the underside of your doors from drafts. This is important on doors that have draft because it will prevent a constant cold breeze from entering your house or mobile home. If you do nothing else but buy weatherstripping and door sweeps for all of the exterior doors of your home then you would still cut down on your heating costs. You should also look for drafts coming from the walls, such as where the cable runs into the house. Use caulking or weatherstrips to make sure this is sealed tight.

8. Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Winterizing the home is about lowering energy bills, saving money, preparing for winter, and creating a safe home. Every year there are fires because of holiday lights on Christmas trees or the house. Some families do not get out. This does not mean do not put up holiday lights. It means that you need to take these 10 easy home winterizing tips and make sure your home is in good working order along with all the safety equipment it needs. Don't forget to check the fire extinguishers.

9. Cover or wrap the water heater. This easy home winterizing tip can help save money on the gas or electric bill. The Alliance to Save Energy recommends using an insulated blanket to cover the water heather because approximately 15% of the heating bill goes toward heating it. Insulating the water heater reduces the amount of energy it needs therefore saving money.

10.  Look for areas in the home, garage, attic, around windows, and other areas to find draft  spots and air leaks in your home.  A hand held thermometer is excellent for finding the exact spots air is seeping in and enable you to fix these leaks and save on electricity bills, whether its heating or cooling costs.  The Kindrex infrared thermometer is highly recommended. Just point the hand held infrared thermometer at any surface and the infrared reads the temp then displays it on a digital display. It can be used for many others things as well. There are many affordable home weatherproofing supplies available at Amazon and other hardware stores.

Bonus Home Weatherizing Tip

Bonus home weatherizing tip: Know where your main water shut off valve is located. 

Use these 10 easy home winterizing tips. These home winterizing tips will help save money even if it's only weatherstripping or a tube caulking. Do not try to caulk windows or other places on a cold day because the caulking can freeze. Take the time to winterize your home. If you have an elderly relative check in with them to make sure their home is properly weatherized for the winter. Do not forget winter car maintenance as well.

If you are winterizing a mobile home then most of this still applies to you. Make sure to follow all of this plus insulate any pipes under the trailer. Frozen pipes are a concern for mobile homes. To winterize a mobile home you might have to cover the windows to prevent a cold breeze. Depending on the year the trailer was made, it can be really cold in the winter time because of poor weatherization and thin insulation. A tip to winterize a trailer or mobile home when you are poor is to get clear plastic, cut it, and place it over the windows with tape. Now instead of using plastic over the window you can get a window insulator kit. The window insulator kit comes with a film to put over the windows for winter. It reduces heating costs and keeps the place warmer. This winter window trick will save money on electricity bills. Use the other winterizing tips to get ready for winter. There are many cheap weatherproofing tools available on Amazon.

* The official start of winter is December 21st.

3M Indoor Window Insulator Kit, 5-Window
Amazon Price: $4.47 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 8, 2016)
Tips to Prepare a Home for Winter and Cold Weather

Image Credit: Ice on Roof