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Getting Ready for Chill: How to Prep Your House for Winter

Now that the cold weather has come, it’s time to start turning our attention to making sure we stay warm this winter. Before the snow hits, we always like to make the rounds through our house, fixing things up and ensuring that everything’s in place. That way, we don’t have to do DIY housework to fix air leaks and cold weather related problems once the snow comes and the temperature drops even further!

Just in case you could use some guidance in what to prepare and how to make sure your house is in good shape, here are 15 helpful tips and tricks that we always make sure to check for each year.

1. Consider and repair air leaks around widows


When the winter wind blows, there’s nothing worse than a cold chill seeping in around your windows. Check out how AC Masters filled cracks and leaks carefully with window seal caulking to make sure the warm air inside doesn’t seep out and cost you extra in heat and hydro bills.

2. Clean and store rain barrels


Rain barrels are a great, environmentally friendly idea in the summer, but come winter they’ll just freeze if there’s anything leftover in them! Nature Moms suggest emptying and cleaning out your rain barrels, storing them somewhere dry for next spring and summer.

3. Add extra insulation in the attic


If you’re feeling very handy and up for a challenge, putting some additional insulation in the attic can help keep your house a little warmer all round. Neighbour Works shows you how it’s done, helping you stop the heat from your indoor system rise and escape out the nooks and crannies in the ceiling and roof.

4. Prepare your fireplace against drafts


In our house, we have a stunning fireplace that is mostly decorative rather than functional. We adore having it, but we can’t stand the way cold drafts make their way down and out through the grate in the winter. That’s why we followed A Turtle’s Life for Me instructions for properly purchasing, placing, and inflating a draft blocker in the fireplace shaft.

5. Create winter thermostat schedules


It might sound dull, but creating a regular schedule on which your family can adjust the temperature on your thermostat can make a huge different in winter bills. It also saves energy, making your winter habits a little more eco-friendly. Get more information on which schedules are best for your type of house on Vivint.

6. Ask a neighbour to stop by if you go on vacation


We’re no strangers to winter travel but, based on bad past experiences, we always have a bit of trepidation about leaving our house unattended in harsh weather and extreme temperatures. That’s why we take Octagon Restoration‘s advice and always ask a friend to stop by the house while we’re gone to make sure everything is in order. They walk you through what kind of information and resources to leave them with in case of emergency!

7. Insulate your pipes with foam


If you’ve ever witnessed the trouble that’s cause when the pipes in a house freeze, then you’ll already be familiar with how important this next tip is! To keep the water inside flowing so nothing bursts, despite extremely cold temperatures, try insulating them with foam tubing, just like Direct Heating Supplies did here.

8. Collect and chop firewood in advance


Do you have an awesome fireplace or wood burning stove that you love using in the winter? Then we’d definitely suggest taking a look at Healthy Vix‘s recommendations for chopping the right amount of wood before the snow comes and the temperatures drop too far. That way, you’re not stuck trying to unsafely wield an axe in mittens and a snow storm later in the season when you run out of wood and the house gets too cold!

9. Change your air filters


Changing your air filters is a great task to keep up with regularly anyways, but its especially important before winter comes. Because you have to keep the house so closed off all winter to keep warm air in, things can get stuffy and dirty vent filters only increase poor air circulation, which can lead to allergens and germs. Here’s a guide from Simply Sweet Home for changing your filters properly, just in case you need a bit of guidance.

10. Consider electric heaters


Do you live in a place that doesn’t tend to heat up very well no matter how high you turn the heat but you’re hesitant to install a fireplace or anything involving gas and fire? In that case, we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how A Cultivated Nest installed and properly uses the right kind of electric space heaters for their rooms.

11. Consider a diffuser or air humidifier


Have you ever woken up in the winter and realized that the air is so sapped of moisture that your mouth, nose, and skin feel dry and kind of parched? We know that feeling well thanks to the climate where we live, so we always make sure to turn our air humidifier on at night! Get the low down on how useful these are from Renee at Great Peace.

12. Clean the gutters before the snow comes


This one might seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to get, and how many people do every year! Cleaning the fall leaves out of your gutters and rain troughs before the snow comes helps avoid blockages and flooding in the spring when all the snow starts to melt. Living Well, Spending Less has more info for you.

13. Test your smoke alarm


We’ll admit that this isn’t necessarily a winter specific home task but since you’re supposed to check your smoke detectors regularly throughout the year, now is as good a time as any to make it part of your home improvement routine! Grand Project Contracting gives you some trips for remembering to test them more regularly.

14. Aerate and apply winter fertilizer to your lawn


Have you looked out your window after winter in past seasons and lamented the dried, brittle state of your brown post-snow lawn? Then we think you’ll do well taking a look at how Improve Net tried to give their grass a little head start before winter by aerating and fertilizing it before the snow settles in for the season.

15. Stock up canned food for emergency weather


Where we live, extremely large amounts of snow fall each year. In fact, we’re no strangers to being snowed in for days at a time thanks to how quickly the snow piles up during storms. That’s why we always make sure to take Gallen Insurance‘s advice and stock up on good canned food items. They have a long shelf life so they’re great emergency food for times when leaving your house to get groceries isn’t necessarily safe thanks to harsh weather conditions.

Do you have a few more tips for preparing a house very well for winter and they’re things you always make sure to do each year, but you don’t see those things on our list? Tell us all about them or link us to photos and instructions in the comments section so we can all prepare as thoroughly as possible!