How to Weatherproof Your Home for Winter in Less Than an Hour

by Ben SanfordJanuary 29, 2018

6 Weatherization Tips That Take Just Minutes To Do

Winter arrived earlier than normal for most parts of the country this year, leaving a lot of homeowners behind on weatherizing their homes for the cold weather. And, if there’s one thing you can be sure of, it’s that the cold weather isn’t going away any time soon. So, if you haven’t weatherized your home yet, then now is the time to do it.

Weatherizing your home is important for keeping the warm air inside your home and the cold air out. It helps make your home more comfortable, and it not only helps to keep your utility bills under control, but it also protects your HVAC from overworking, which will ultimately improve the unit’s lifespan. Here are six easy and quick tips that you can get done in under an hour so your home can be weatherized for winter.
weatherization tips

#1: Install Foam Outlet and Switch Sealers on Exterior Walls

Many people don’t realize it but switches and outlets that are installed on the exterior walls of their homes are notorious for the amount of air that leaks through them. To help prevent warm air loss, you can install foam outlet and switch sealers that rest between the outlet or switch and its cover plate. The foam gasket seals the gaps around the device and stops air from leaking through.

#2: Install a Door Sweep on the Entry Door

If you place your hand at the bottom of your home’s entry door, you will more than likely feel the cold air seeping through into your home. To put an end to this, all you must do is install a door sweep on the bottom inside of your entry door. Depending on the type you choose, you may have to nail or screw the sweep in place or you can buy one that has adhesive tape on it for an easier, no-tools-required installation.
weatherization tips

#3: Install Weather-Stripping Around the Windows and Entry Door

If the caulk that runs around your windows is starting to crack or pieces of it are missing, then you can remove the old caulk and apply a fresh bead to seal the gaps. Or, you can cover the gaps using a transparent sealant tape. Meanwhile, if there are noticeable gaps around your entry door, you can fill them using self-adhesive strips of foam weather-stripping.

#4: Replace Your Curtains With Insulated Drapes

Insulated drapes are heavier and thicker than standard curtains, and they’re made that way specifically for keeping cold air drafts from entering a room. Simply replacing your curtains with insulated drapes can create an instant improvement on the overall warmth and comfort level of a room. If you have hardwood floors, then adding some thick throw rugs will also help make the room warmer and cozier.

#5: Install Reflective Insulation in Cold Parts of the Home

If you have an attic or crawlspace, then you know how cold they can get in the winter. And, that cold can penetrate the warmer sections of your home. But, simply installing some reflective insulation in these areas will help keep the cold from getting in. Reflective insulation is a good pick because it is much more affordable than standard insulation, it’s fiber-free, and it’s easy to install.
weatherization tips

#6: Seal the Furnace Ducts

Heating ducts that aren’t properly sealed lose between 20 and 30 percent of the heated air they’re carrying by the time it blows through your vents. This means that you’re paying more money than necessary to heat your home.

Understandably, you aren’t going to be able to seal all your ducts because some are contained in ceilings and walls, but you can seal the sections that are exposed. Also, don’t rely on “ductwork” for the job because it eventually becomes dry and brittle and falls off. Instead, use metal tape or mastic sealant, as they are much more durable and better suited for sealing ducts.

Weatherizing your home for winter doesn’t have to take all weekend or cost you a ton of money. Start with these six easy and affordable tasks and you’ll feel an immediate improvement in your home’s comfort level and a similar improvement on next month’s energy bill.

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About The Author
Ben Sanford
Ben is a real estate agent and freelance writer. He's lived on the east coast his entire life and is just as "at home" on a snowboard as he is in the office. When not writing about local real estate markets and researching hot new tips for homeowners, he can be found working on his home renovation projects with help from his wife Melissa and their kids, Josh and Cheyenne.