5 Ways to Button Up Your Home for Winter

When winter approaches, you need to get your home ready. If you have a draft, cracks in the foundation, or ineffective insulation, it could mean higher energy costs by using your heater more often than necessary. Here are some ways to button up your home for the colder time of the year.

#1) Add Insulation
Before you do anything else, consider improving the insulation in your home. A good place to start is your attic. If you can stand in your attic and see the ceiling joists, then more insulation needs to be added. If in the previous years, you noticed that the heater had to be turned extremely high or it took a long time to heat up your home, you are probably in need of better insulation. Foam insulation is good for wrapping around metal pipes to prevent them from freezing. There are different types of insulation, such as spray foam and fiberfill. Talk to a contractor to discuss your options.

#2) Check For Leaks
Even with excellent insulation, you’ll lose hot air if you have holes, cracks, or leaks in your home. Check every inch of the foundation before winter hits to look for signs of these leaks. Check around doors and windows to look for cracks or spaces where air could escape. Also look at the attic ceiling for wet spots or drips, as this is another sign of a leak. Check the roof as well to be sure there are no areas of damage that rain and snow could worsen.

#3) Use a Whole House Fan
Your whole house fan is not just for the summer, but the winter as well. By using it in cold weather, it helps to disperse the hot air and keep the warmth at an even temperature inside your home. Be sure to get the fan sealed and insulated in the winter, if you don’t plan on using it however, check the metal louvers and make sure they are airtight. If not, they need to be sealed. You can also get a cover over the fan when it isn’t being used.

#4) Get a Fireplace Plug
Your fireplace should have the damper closed when not in use year-round, but especially during the winter. The damper helps to close it so extra heat does not escape through the area. You should also consider adding a fireplace plug, since the damper isn’t quite airtight. This is a type of inflatable pillow that helps to seal the damper further. It will keep out additional drafts and also helps with noise.

#5) Close the Attic Stairs
If you have an attic in your home, the area where the stairs are located could be causing a big draft that makes it colder inside your home. To remedy this, make sure the stairs are always closed. In addition, it helps to have a cover over the hole where the stairs are located. You can either create a cover with plywood or cover them with a tarp.

Implement these 5 tips today to keep your home — and you — warmer this winter.