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  4. Checklist: How to Prep Your Home for Cold Weather
  • Checklist: How to Prep Your Home for Cold Weather

    Spend a Saturday afternoon checking these items off your to-do list to ensure a safer and cozier season.


    Ready for colder weather? Properly prepping your home for cold temps can save you big-time on both money (leaner utility bills) and headaches (no broken heating system when that first cold snap hits). Here’s a simple five-step cold weather-prep checklist that you can easily knock out in just a few hours.

    • 1. Ready your windows and doors.

      Prevent cold air from sneaking into your home by sealing up drafty spots. Apply strips of self-stick rubber weather sealing to close any gaps. You can also apply window insulation film (3M makes handy Indoor Window Insulator Kits). If cold air seeps in under your exterior doors, you can make your own ‘draft snakes’ by filling tube socks with rice and placing them where the door meets the floor. This is a great task for kids!

    • 2. Load up on winter gear.

      You don’t want to be fighting over the last shovel at the hardware store when an early-season blizzard rolls through your region. Make a quick trip to the store now to purchase the items you’ll need when winter hits. Don’t forget de-icing compound, which is now available in non-toxic, pet- and child-friendly varieties.

    • 3. Reverse your ceiling fans.

      Make sure your ceiling fans are blowing warm air down to the floor by turning them to the reverse (clockwise) position.

    • 4. Replace air filters.

      You need to swap out your air filter at least every season to help improve indoor air quality and to keep your heating and cooling system running smoothly. You may want to check and change your filter more frequently if your home has pets, smokers or a fan running continuously; same suggestion if you’re in the middle of construction work or if you have furniture or drywall sanding in progress.

    • 5. Call in the experts.

      Lastly, spend a few minutes scheduling a professional heating and cooling system inspection (as well as a professional chimney cleaning if you have a wood-burning fireplace). Annual maintenance isn’t just smart from an energy-savings standpoint—it’s also critical for your family’s safety.