Winterizing your home is one of the best ways to get comfortable and save energy costs. It’s not too late to get a few projects done before the holidays, so here’s a short weekend list of to-dos to help you.

Check the furnace. Typically, a heating system has a heat/cooling source, distribution system, and thermostat, so there is plenty of room for error. Make sure that your system is properly inspected and cleaned and has fresh filters according to maintenance directions. Call a master certified plumber to look for potential dangers such as carbon monoxide leaks.   

Check the water heater. Particles and sediment can gather in the bottom of the water heater.  This can hinder it’s efficiency.  You can easily flush the water through the drain valve to clear debris.

Ceiling Fans.  Change the direction of your ceiling fans so they are operating clockwise, pushing the warm air back down.  

Check detectors. Since you’ll be indoors more, it makes sense to also check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. According to, smoke detectors with a UL rating have a useful life of 10 years so don’t just push the button to see if it’s working. Stick a real flame source, such as a candle or a match, to see if the detector can actually pick up on the smoke being emitted.  Replace the batteries annually.  

Check insulation. Energy leaks put a hole in your wallet, so do your best to identify and seal all leaks in your ceiling/attic and cracks in or around your windows and doors. A quick way to check if you have enough insulation is to go into your attic and look at your rafters-if you can see ceiling joists you can add some more insulation. Though this will be an expensive process, your heating costs will drop right away.

Window insulation.  If you are in need of window replacement but don’t have it in your budget, consider the window insulation kits. The window insulation film can keep 70% of of the heat from escaping through the windows.  You can also utilize weather stripping.

Draft Guards.  Heat escapes under the door.  It is a simple solution to help with your heating bill.  Draft guards can be found at any big box store or your local hardware store.

Peeling and missing caulking.  There is a minimal investment to making sure that all of your doors and windows are properly sealed.  There is a lot of your bought air that will escape through small holes.

Chimney Balloon.  If you have a fireplace that is not working or one that you choose not to use, consider buying a chimney balloon.  Unused chimneys are a huge source of heat loss in the winter, even when they are closed.  This will minimize the drafts.

Outside faucets.  Remove the hoses and cover the faucets with a towel or styrofoam covers.  You don’t want frozen water backing up into your pipes and freezing!

Enjoy the winter season and protect your home with these easy suggestions.



This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.