Three Steps to Winterizing Your Home

Real Estate Agent with Jack White Real Estate

I have this really great State Farm agent, she's my daughter-in-law!  She sends me things like this all the time, great useful info, that I thought you would enjoy too! read below.....

Winterizing HomeUse the next few months of moderate temperatures to feather a cozy, energy-efficient nest that withstands wintry conditions. Even if you live in a warmer climate where snow and ice are rare or non-existent, you can take preventative measures now to keep your utility bills in check, raise your comfort level and prevent costly home repairs down the road.

1. Increase your efficiency

The problem: As the temperature dips, your utility bill climbs. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that heating accounts for 31 percent of the average home’s annual utility use.

The fix: You can save as much as 20 percent on your home’s energy costs by installing an energy-efficient furnace with properly sealed ducts. (Sealing ductwork alone can save you up to $140 a year.) Plus, making your home more energy efficient can earn you some tax credits. Other ways to increase efficiency include:

  • Have a professional clean and test your heating system before winter begins.
  • Install a programmable thermostat.
  • Change furnace filters monthly.

2. Improve your comfort

The problem: A drafty house makes you chilly, and lets warm air slip out.

The fix: ENERGY STAR notes that properly sealing and insulating a home improves comfort and saves up to 10 percent on annual energy costs. Use these tips to get started:

  • Apply caulk around windows, doors, pipes, vents and electrical outlets and seal foundation cracks with hydraulic cement or polyurethane foam.
  • Check for drafts by holding a lit incense stick in front of windows that may not be airtight. If drafts are found, cover windows with film and seal.
  • Add more insulation as needed.
  • Adjust ceiling fans so blades turn in a clockwise direction to push warmer air down into a room.

3. Prevent ice damage

The problem: State Farm experts estimate that each winter 250,000 homes experience damage due to frozen pipes.

The fix: First look for places where cold air can get in. Then:

  • Add insulation to pipes located on exterior walls and in crawl spaces and attics.
  • Disconnect garden hoses so water won’t freeze in the faucet or pipe.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts to direct winter precipitation away from foundations. Note: Cleaning gutters does not prevent ice dams.

Find more winter-proofing tips at And check out ENERGY STAR’s interactive room-by-room energy-saving tool.

Comments (4)

Linda Blumenthal
Hampton Crossing - Licensed Real Estate Salesperson - 631-466-4087 - Westhampton Beach, NY
NYS Licenced Real Estate Salesperson, CBR

Hi Cora.  You have a very wise daughter-in-law!  The information is so important and should be read by everyone.  Thanks for posting.

Oct 23, 2011 08:18 AM
Kathy Sheehan
Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021 - Atlanta, GA
Senior Loan Officer

These are excellent suggestions and should be reviewed by everyone!

Oct 23, 2011 08:55 AM
Cora Carleson
Jack White Real Estate - Wasilla, AK

Yes, she is wise and cute too!  thanks for your response 

Oct 23, 2011 09:04 AM
Michele Cadogan 917-861-9166
Fillmore Real Estate 2990 Av U, Bklyn , NY 11229 - Brooklyn, NY
Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker -


Good winterizing tips thanks for sharing-  looking forward to reading additional tips from you via  your daughter inlawy from an insurer viewpoint.  Thanks

Oct 23, 2011 11:09 AM