Winter Checklist for Our Home

Winter isn’t coming, my friends. It’s here.

We miraculously got the concrete poured for our garage remodel and got the walls us. Just in time for the torrential downpours. We’ve done a lot of big upgrades this year, from getting new gutters (with a cash discount) that are bigger than the originals so they’ll have a better chance of withstanding the amount of rain we get (the other ones overflowed even right after a cleaning) and they don’t have holes in them (thanks previous rodent issues!)

Previously, though, we’d done some small things to help make our home more comfortable in the winter. After all, we had single-pane windows that leaked and it was rather drafty. We used to live in a climate that was regularly in the single digits, but where we live now it doesn’t dip below freezing, so this list has changed over the years.

  • Foam outlet insulation
  • Clean the gutters
  • Door draft stopper
  • Service the HVAC or stove/chimney so they work properly
  • Change out air filters
  • Reverse the direction of your fan
  • Weatherproof your windows and doors (caulking does wonders)
  • Turn off and insulate your outside spickets
  • Have working flashlights nearby (okay, this might not be winterizing, but it deserves a mention! Our power went out last night and this was helpful)
  • Protect your pipes with foam wrap, especially any that are exposed, such as those in the garage
  • Get a water heater blanket if it’s in an unheated area (I noticed a change in my electric bill simply by doing this when my water heater was in the garage)

As a frugal person, it can be hard for me to spend money on things, but it’s a little easier when I know it will result in cost savings over the long run. I have to admit, though, that before settling on this beauty:

I did get a “pretty” door stopper that is a thinner profile, with a thin strip of material that goes under the door and has the thick barrier on both sides. I liked that it looked modern and as it was used on the door that leads out to the garage (that was, at that time, a complete disaster zone of the old, smelly carpet and carpet pad we’d ripped out of the bedrooms, broken up concrete, the bat room…need I say more) I like that it covered on both sides. The problem is that it slid around whenever the door was opened, which meant we constantly had to fiddle with it. It was sadly a waste of money.

Not sexy, but certainly functional: door draft guard
Not a waste of money: heavy duty door draft stop

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