prepare your home for winter

It’s not official, but winter is on its way here in central Indiana. Much like any other season in Indiana, you never know exactly what you’ll get. One thing is for certain, it’s going to get cold and it’s going to get windy. These cold and windy conditions can do a number on your home and now is the time to take the steps to prepare your home for winter.

Here are 10 easy ways to protect your home from the cold:

1. Clean your chimney

A dirty chimney is a dangerous chimney so make sure you have yours inspected and cleaned before you light it up. Many local companies offer specials for $100 dollars or less so take some time to scout out a deal.

2. Seal up doors and windows

As you prepare your home for winter, take time to seal up cracks in doors and windows with weatherstripping, caulk, and plastic. These leaky areas let cold air into your home and let warm air escape. You’ll need some supplies and some how-to advice, so head over to your local hardware store to get this project started.

3. Tune up your furnace

Much like a car, furnaces require preventative maintenance. Now is a good time to replace the filter and have an HVAC expert check out the rest of the system.

4. Clean your gutters

Now that most leaves have fallen, it’s time to clean out your gutters for the winter. If you don’t do this, you’ll end up with clogged gutters that eventually fill up with water and freeze. This can cause damage to the gutters and potentially cause them to fall off of the home.

5. Adjust your ceiling fans

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can't use your ceiling fans. Flip the switch on your fans so they spin in a clockwise motion to improve heat distribution.

6. Turn off outdoor spigots/wrap pipes

You won’t be doing much watering outdoors this time of year so it’s good practice to turn off all outdoor spigots and cover them with insulation. If you have the time and budget, use this time to wrap exposed pipes in basements and crawl spaces with insulation as well.

7. Check smoke alarms

You’re going to be cooking and using the furnace soon so now is a good time to make sure your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning properly. Change batteries or replace as needed.

Bonus tips for saving energy this winter:

  • Draw the curtains to allow sunlight to enter your home during the day. This will heat your home for free!

  • Adjust your thermostat to drop a couple degrees at night while you are sleeping. You won’t notice the difference in temperature and the savings could be significant.

  • Close your fireplace damper when not in use. It works just like an open window and you could be losing a large amount of heat.

How do you prepare your home for winter? Share your tips and ideas in the comments below!

Main image By artur84, freedigitalphotos.net