Winter is coming. How to prepare your home – CNET | CarTailz

This story is part of Home TipsCNET’s collection of practical advice for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.

It’s mid-November, the temperature is dropping and we’ll see Black Friday sales and Christmas decorations appear, which means one thing: winter is just around the corner.

Depending on where you live, this can mean snowfall and freezing temperatures. Regardless, there is no time like now to prepare for the cold season – especially as extreme weather conditions are becoming more common.

Preparing your home for winter takes some effort, but many of the best measures are easy and free. Use these home maintenance tips to create a winter home maintenance checklist to help you spend those cold days warm and cozy. We also have tips for this How to protect your pipes and how to keep your pets safe and calm during a winter storm. We break down too how much it costs to run a space heater.

Check your home for leaks and drafts

Leaks and drafts entering through cracks in walls, doors and windows can prevent proper heating and increase energy bills. If your energy company does not Home energy audit, do one yourself. Here are some ways to seal leaks and drafts:

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  • Apply caulk, foam, or weatherstripping around moving doors and windows.
  • Use bubble wrap or a Window Insulation Kit for sealing windows that you will not use.
  • Add a storm door to reduce heat loss at the main entrance.
  • Install insulation in your attic to prevent heat loss through the ceiling.
  • Replace poorly insulated wood doors with Energy Star certified steel or fiberglass doors.
  • Cover mail slots and pet doors with insulation or thick towels to keep warm air in and cold air out.
  • Use blackout curtains on your windows, leaving them open during the day to let the sun in and closing them at night to keep the heat in.

Do a chimney inspection

Before using your fireplace or wood-burning stove for heating, have the chimney or flue checked and cleaned by a professional. This step can prevent chimney fires which, along with other wood-burning appliances, cause 18,000 home fires each year.

A clogged chimney or flue can also increase your chances carbon monoxide poisoning. Don’t forget fresh batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

If you have a non-functioning or decorative fireplace, you could be losing valuable heat through the open fireplace. Invest in a chimney balloon can prevent heat from escaping and cold winter air from entering. Just be sure to remove it if you want to make a fire later.

Have your oven checked

If you have a stove, like a chimney, you should have it checked every year. If your oven isn’t working properly, an early inspection can buy you time buy a new one before winter sets in. Also think about cleaning your air ducts or clean yourself. Make sure you are too Change your oven filters regularly to keep your oven working properly. (Also here are Five Signs You May Need a New Furnace.)

Cover bare floors

Laminate, wood, and tile floors look great, but they can cause you to lose heat in winter. As part of your winter home maintenance checklist, consider adding rugs or laying rugs on your bare floors to keep your feet warm and prevent heat loss.

ceiling fan

Ceiling fans are not only used for cooling in the warm months. They can also help when it’s chilly.

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Inverted ceiling fan blades

If your house has ceiling fans, you should Toggle blade rotation with the seasons for best results. For most ceiling fans, the blades should rotate counter-clockwise during warm months, pushing cool air down. In winter, turning the blades clockwise to the lowest setting allows the warm air in the room to be pushed down from the ceiling to keep you warmer.

Prepare for winter storms

Pay attention to the weather so you have enough time prepare for a winter storm is on the horizon. Do you have yours? hometown and Auto Emergency Kits always ready to go and make sure your car maintenance is up to date with a full tank of gas in case you need to leave.

If you don’t have one portable generator home, now might be the time to buy one. Generators can keep your home warm until the utility company can get you running again.

Invest in an easy-to-read thermometer

For the seniors in your life, it’s always a good idea to have a large, easy-to-read thermometer in the best location in the house. Older people may not feel temperature differences easily, which can lead to serious health problems, especially if they live alone. Having a thermometer and checking the temperature regularly can help them know when to pack up or if there might be a potential heat loss problem in the home.

Clear the radiators

If you live in a home with radiator heating, clearing the space around your radiator can keep large pieces of furniture from absorbing the heat intended for your family. You can also prevent heat loss from leaving your home through an outside wall by placing aluminum foil behind the radiator to reflect heat back into the room. A floating shelf strategically placed above the radiator can also prevent hot air from rushing towards the ceiling too quickly. Just make sure you don’t put anything on the radiator itself.

If your heating system can’t keep up, consider investing in one space heater — only Make sure to use it safely to avoid a fire.


Space heaters can help keep a particularly cold room warm, but make sure you use them safely.

Dale Smith/CNET

Prepare for snow and rain

Cold weather can take its toll on your home, and you don’t want to have to do post-winter cleaning and repairs. Instead, add some basic winter maintenance to the checklist and do it well before the cold sets in.

  • Insulate all exposed pipes in the attic and basement so they don’t burst.
  • Make sure your sump pump is working properly and nothing is clogging the outside drain.
  • Properly insulate walls and ceilings to prevent condensation that can lead to mold or mildew.
  • Keep your gutters free of debris, ice, and snow that can tear down your gutters and cause roof damage.
  • Turn off outdoor faucets and pipes, clean and insulate water pipes to prevent water leaks in your yard.

Watch out for low hanging branches

Trees surrounding your home can cause serious damage to your home and even cause you to lose power. The weight of snow after a storm can cause branches to snap or the entire tree to fall on your home or power lines. Before it snows, get the tree’s condition checked and remove any branches that are dead—or those that could cause serious damage if they fall.

Preparing your home for winter by completing your home winter maintenance checklist can help you stay warm, prevent damage from cold weather, and insulate your energy bills. While it’s warm inside, you can still enjoy the great, cool air outside with these tips exercise outside while it’s cold. When you’re done, you can warm up next to you Fireplace before you go inside.

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