Stay Warm and Save Money: 5 Ways to Winterize Your Home

Tired of heat—and money—escaping from your home during the cold months? Use these tips to help keep the chill out and your wallet healthy.

Winterizing can help preserve your home and save you money, while you stay both comfortable and eco-friendly. These easy tips will help you learn how to keep your home warm in winter and commit to an annual winterizing routine.

1. Close up the holes

When you were a kid, did you ever get in trouble for leaving the door open and letting cold air inside? Well, you might be doing the same thing in slow motion now! One of the first tips for keeping your home warm in winter is to seal up places where heat escapes.

Check out all your windows and doors. If you feel a draft around door edges, apply weather stripping. Caulk any cracks around windows and replace the caulk as it wears out.

If you’re able to upgrade, you can lock in your home’s warmth by installing insulated doors and garage doors, as well as double- or triple-pane windows.

Also, make sure you shut the chimney flue when you’re not burning anything. Otherwise, your home’s heat is unnecessarily floating out of the chimney.

2. Check out the heating system

Sometimes knowing how to keep your home warm in winter is about maintenance. Getting your heating system serviced by a professional may cost a little now, but it can save you a lot in the long run by extending the life of your heater and ensuring that it’s running efficiently when you need it the most. Spring for a tune-up before the season gets too cold, and you’ll decrease the chances of a catastrophic heating failure at the worst possible moment.

Smart homeowners should also stay alert when their heating systems are in heavy use and clean or replace heater filters monthly.

3. Condition your air—and yourself

Don’t expect to walk around in shorts and flip-flops when it’s a winter wonderland outside. This may seem counterintuitive as far as ideas for how to keep your home warm in winter, but one of the most cost-effective measures you can take is to lower the thermostat and put on an extra layer. Decrease the heat even more when you’ll be out of the house for long periods, or at night, while you’re under a pile of blankets.

Programmable thermostats make this a snap. According to the Department of Energy, you can save 10% on your energy bill by decreasing your home temperature a manageable amount for just 8 hours a day (such as when you’re asleep).

You should also switch the direction of your ceiling fans. (There’s typically a switch at the base of most fans that controls the direction.) Because heat rises, fans that blow gently down get warm air back to your living space. Make sure fans spin clockwise in the winter—and set a calendar reminder to switch them back when temperatures rise.

4. Insulate your home

Another key to keeping your home warm in winter—and a great way to decrease heating bills year-round—is by upping your insulation.

The attic is the main place to start, but you also can make solid strides by targeting other areas. For example, if you don’t have storm doors or storm windows to keep the bitter cold out, window insulation can be a big help.

Insulate exposed water pipes, too. It may not save you much on your heating bill, but it can keep them from freezing and bursting, which can cost you time, energy and money.

5. Examine the outside of your house

At this point, you may already have several good ideas for how to keep your home warm in winter. But in addition to all these indoor measures, you should also prep the outside of your house before you feel the bite in the air. Make sure external faucets are turned off and disconnect your garden hoses. Drain your irrigation system to prevent leaks come spring.

Prune your trees and bushes, too, keeping them five feet from your home to give room for ventilation and prevent damage.

Stay on top of these tips with a simple calendar reminder each year, and you’ll no longer wonder how to keep your home warm in winter. You’ll be cozy and feel like a pro.

Keep it up. You're getting smarter about home buying.

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