Winterize Your Home

Real Estate Agent

Currier and Ives: Central Park, WinterThe only thing stranger than seeing Christmas decorations out before Halloween this year was  seeing snow before Halloween. While Mother Nature hasn't thrown us any more curveballs (yet), you'll want to start thinking about getting your home winterized if you haven't done so already. Whether you're selling your home, or staying put for the foreseeable future, here are a few tips to help you bundle up your humble abode:

1. Wrap your windows: Many hardware and home improvement stores sell winterizing kits that are great for drafty windows. All that's needed is a stepstool, hair dryer, and a little patience. If your windows aren't drafty, these kits still help, since -- similar to double-glazed windows -- the plastic adds an extra layer of insulation to keep heat from escaping. If you don't have the patience for a kit, bubble wrap also works quite well, and is a lot more fun once you're through with it.

2. Use blackout curtains. They're great for blocking out light pollution, but they have the added benefit of insulating as well.

3. Open shades and curtains: South- and southwest-facing windows get the most sun. As long as those windows don't open onto rooms (like your bedrooms or bathroom) that would present privacy issues, keep them open during the day to get a bit of extra heat courtesy of mother nature.

4. If you have an attached garage, making sure it's properly insulated can save you a bundle when the temperatures drop, especially if the thermostat's located in an adjacent room.

5. Make sure that your furniture isn't obstructing vents or baseboards.

6. Clean the gutters. Winter precipitation can wreak havoc on your home if you don't.

7. Your ceiling fan isn't just for warm weather. Reverse the direction, and it can help circulate warm air throughout your home by forcing hot air (which rises) toward the floor.

8. Get in the kitchen: Cooking and baking -- a true chore in the summer, when it feels like you could make an omelete on your driveway -- are just the thing for the winter months. It's less expensive than eating out, brings the family together (especially if they're helping out before and after dinner), and leaves your home warm and cozy. As an added bonus, the smell of baking bread, cakes and cookies says "home" to buyers, loud and clear!

9.Insulate your pipes: If the thought of insulating your home's pipes gives you the willies or makes your wallet shudder, ask yourself one simple question: Which is cheaper and less time consuming? Buying an insulating kit and wrapping your pipes, or spending the hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to clean up after the damage of burst pipes?

10. Clean your chimney: This boosts your fireplace's efficiency, but it also prevents chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisioning as well. While products like the Chimney Sweeping Log promise to do the job quickly and cheaply, the services of a chimney sweep are your best, and safest bet.

11. Make sure your heating system has been serviced for safety and peak efficiency. This includes cleaning, replacement of filters, and any other routine maintenance the system may need.

12. Finally, and most imporantly: Please make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are properly installed, working correctly, and have fresh batteries. Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, and can be the byproduct of improperly cleaned heating systems, certain space heaters, and numerous other sources around your home. Your life is too important to leave to chance!

Do you have any home winterizing tips you'd like to share? Or maybe you're looking for the perfect home for the holidays (and after)? Contact me.

Comments (5)

David Shamansky
US Mortgages - David Shamansky - Highlands Ranch, CO
Creative, Aggressive & 560 FICO - OK, Colorado Mtg

now that is a good list of "To Do's" to help on energy waste and consumption.

Bookmarked for future client reference

Thanks and Happy New Years

Dec 27, 2011 01:07 PM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Cheryl - Thank you for sharing detailed quality information on winterize your home.

Dec 27, 2011 03:41 PM
Cheryl Evans-Cooper
Hillsdale, NJ

Thank you, and a happy New Year to both of you!

Jan 02, 2012 01:39 PM
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Good morning Cheryl,

A great list of "to-do's" before one is surprised with a wintery blast.  Thanks for sharing, have a great day!

Jan 04, 2012 12:59 AM
Cheryl Evans-Cooper
Hillsdale, NJ

Thanks for stopping by, Lisa. Hopefully y'all are a bit more toasty in Texas than we are in Jersey at the moment!

Jan 04, 2012 12:11 PM