Get ahead on your home’s winter weather prep

When it comes to cold weather home improvement, if you act now, you can relax later.

Feet warming near the fireplace
© Dasha Petrenko, Adobe Stock

There’s nothing like shutting out the season’s chills and snuggling up inside a warm home. Though temperatures are still fluctuating between hot, cold and mild, now’s the time to make sure your home is ready for whatever weather winter has in store.

These tips will not only keep your house cozy, they may also help you save some money along the way.

Install a programmable thermostat

Automatically raising or lowering temperatures while residents are away, a programmable thermostat can, according to EnergyStar, save homeowners an average $180 a year.

Take vent inventory   

Something as simple as making sure that your heating vents aren’t covered can go a long way. During off months where heat isn’t such a necessity, vents may get overlooked when moving furniture or other design changes. Household items could be blocking and preventing heat and (even more concerning) may start a fire. Readers Digest suggests that you do a thorough walk through of your home.

Identify and block drafts

Conserve heat by covering up any drafts that may be entering your home, primarily through windows, doors or other hidden cracks. recommends that homeowners line window frames with a heavy-duty plastic sheet, then purchase insulating drapes or shades.

Keep the damper closed when not in use

Though you go to your fireplace for warmth, if you don’t close the damper between uses you’ll essentially be inviting in the cold. According to, this is not only letting the cold in, it’s letting the heat out and driving up your energy bill.

Prep the pipes

This one may be a more hands-on task than the above tips, but it’s necessary nonetheless. According to HGTV, by draining water from all outdoor water sources (faucets, hoses, sprinklers, etc.) and putting heat tape around pipes that are typically prone to freezing or leaking, you’ll reduce the impact of bursting pipes. It’s also important to make sure that everyone in your household knows how to shut off the water source in the event of such an emergency.