Winter is Coming! Learn How to Prepare Your Home for Old Man Winter’s Return

Winter is coming! Will you be prepared for cold weather and the havoc that it can wreak on your energy costs? By following the guidelines of our winter preparation checklist, you should be able to save energy and stay warm during this winter.

  • Clean your gutters after all of your leaves have fallen. If you don’t do this before the snow begins falling regularly, your basement may leak come spring. This is because your gutters will be extra clogged in the spring if they are full of fallen leaves from the autumn and melting snow from the winter. For similar reasons, add extensions to your downspout. Ideally, you don’t want water to flow closer than 4 feet from your foundation.
  • Insulate your pipes! If you don’t, they may become frozen and burst—you do not want this to happen, since it’s quite expensive to repair! You should be able to purchase a wide variety of pipe insulators at your local hardware store.

If you are feeling overly cautious about freezing pipes, try letting your water drip slightly so that there is always water flowing. A leaky pipe might seem counterintuitive, but over a short period of time when it’s cold, it can keep your pipes flowing freely and efficiently.

  • Seal up any cracks around doors and windows with caulk or weather stripping.
  • Install a programmable thermostat.  Programmable thermostats provide a lot of opportunities to save energy during the winter by making it possible to micro-manage your home’s temperature. Most of these smart thermostats come with apps that even allow you to adjust your home’s temperature when you are out and about!
  • Replace your windows with energy efficient options.
  • Ensure that you have proper insulation, especially in your attached garage or in your attic! Proper insulation will keep the cold outside and the warmth inside your home.
  • Reverse your ceiling fans. By turning them clockwise during the winter, warm air is circulated towards the floor where you can actually enjoy it!
  • Be sure to disconnect and drain all exterior water faucets so that they don’t burst! If you leave water in these fixtures, the water will expand when it freezes and cause a lot of damage.
  • Prepare your lawn mower for winter storage and get your snow blower prepped and ready for a season of hard work! Be sure to drain all of the oil out of your lawn mower and to either run your mower until it runs out of gas, or add a fuel stabilizer to keep your fuel stable until spring. If you add fuel stabilizer, start your mower up for a few minutes before putting it away for good.

You can learn more about winter energy efficiency by reading the rest of our Bright Insights blog posts—check ‘em out!