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The leaves’ colors have finally changed, and the temperature is dropping, which means that winter is just around the corner. Therefore, this is the right time to winterize the house. But before you start panicking thinking about the chilly winter month and looking for your winter clothes, you should inspect your home for any gap or space that can allow cold air to get in. After all, the winter months can bring unpredictable weather that tests the limits of your household. So here are a few DIY projects that can help you winterize your home.
In This Post:
- 13 Simple DIY Projects to Help You Winterize Your Home
- 1. Seal Your Home’s Furnace Ducts
- 2. Add a Door Sweep
- 3. Install Weatherstripping
- 4. Seal All the Attic Air Leaks
- 5. Install a Fireplace Damper
- 6. Add Attic Insulation
- 7. Add a Programmable Thermostat
- 8. Plug All the Household Leaks
- 9. Upgrade your Window Coverings
- 10. De-Icing Roof Cable
- 11. Build a Pebble Boots Tray
- 12. Get Dishwashing Liquid and Rubbing Alcohol
- 13. Insulate Your Hot Water Heater
- Final Thoughts
13 Simple DIY Projects to Help You Winterize Your Home
1. Seal Your Home’s Furnace Ducts
Leaky heating ducts can waste up to 30% of the warm air they carry. A leaky heating duct means a home that is too hard to keep warm and high utility bills. Remember, some are hidden inside your floors, walls, and ceiling, and for you to access them, you will need a reliable power tool. After all, you will have to do some repair work after you have finished sealing the ducts.
So, you can start by sealing the exposed ducts in your garage, crawl space, and attic before accessing the sealed ducts. When doing this task, you should focus on the areas where the vents and ducts meet the ceilings, walls, and floors. You can seal all of them using metal tape or mastic sealant.
2. Add a Door Sweep
A door sweep is a flexible plastic or rubber attached to the lower edge of your door by an aluminum strip. The door sweep can stop the draft from getting into the house through the exterior doors’ lower part. Start by measuring your door’s width and then cut the door sweep to size. Drill the pilot holes onto the door and then secure it using some screws.
3. Install Weatherstripping
Confirm if the external doors can allow cold air to leak into the house. You can find these leaks using a laser infrared thermal gun or a candle. Pass a lit candle around the door frames, and if there is a draft, the flame will blow towards you. Once you detect all the drafty door frames, you can start sealing them using foam weather stripping from the inside.
4. Seal All the Attic Air Leaks
Look for all the gaps that can allow cold air to leak into the house and seal them. For this project, you will have to pull the attic insulation back when looking for the gaps and cutouts in drywall for your fans, pipes, electrical fixtures, and outlets. You can also check the vent stacks, flues, chimneys, wiring, and ducts and seal them. Seal the bigger openings with pressurized expanding foam and the small ones with caulk.
5. Install a Fireplace Damper
If your chimney doesn’t have a damper or if its damper is not functioning well, you will need to install a new one. Replacing a damper is not a challenging task; all you have to do is open your fireplace door and then remove the logs. Clean the fireplace and then remove your current damper and replace it with a new one. And in winter, try and close the flue as soon as the fireplace cools down.
6. Add Attic Insulation
Insulating the attic can help keep the cooled air inside the house during summer and the warm air during the cold winter months. If you live in cold-weather states, you should use R-49 insulation, whereas homes in warm weather places need R-38 insulation. Remember, fiberglass insulation releases small fibers that can be harmful to your skin and lung. So make sure you wear your protective gear.
7. Add a Programmable Thermostat
A thermostat can save you some cash on the fuel costs every year by simply raising or lowering the temperature when you’re away. A programmable thermostat can help keep your home’s temperature consistent in winter while saving you some cash on fuel.
8. Plug All the Household Leaks
Grab a notepad, pencil, a spray foam gap-sealer can, and caulk tube, and then go around your house both inside and outside looking for gaps and cracks in windows and siding. You can use foam sealer for huge gaps and caulk for smaller cracks. You can track all the cracks from the inside using a digital thermometer or candle frame. But make sure you pay attention to door and vents frames, chimneys, and windows.
9. Upgrade your Window Coverings
Shades, drapes, curtains, and even mini-blinds can help insulate your home at night and when you are away. Drawing your window curtains during winter can help conserve the heat in your home. So you can upgrade your home’s window coverings with new ones.
10. De-Icing Roof Cable
During winter, ice tends to form on gutters or shingles, resulting in expensive damages. So we recommend that safeguard your home using heat tape or de-icing cables. Make sure you turn them on every time before the storm hits. These cables will prevent ice from forming along your gutters or the edge of your shingles.
11. Build a Pebble Boots Tray
If you are tired of finding the remnants of wet snow from shoes and boots when people enter your house, you should consider making a pebble boot tray? With a pebble tray, you can allow the ice on the shoes to drain through the pebbles, leaving your shoes to dry faster. And since the ice evaporates under the pebbles, you won’t have to clean it regularly.
12. Get Dishwashing Liquid and Rubbing Alcohol
If you run out of salt for de-freezing your driveway and steps, you can mix these two liquids to create an effective solution. Simply mix a tablespoon of rubbing alcohol, dishwashing liquid, and some hot water, and you are good to go. This mixture can unfreeze all the ice on your driveway, plus it’s safer than salt, which tends to eat up the concrete.
13. Insulate Your Hot Water Heater
You can save on fuel by merely wrapping your old water heaters with a blanket of insulation. This project is relatively easy, and even a newbie can do it. When insulating your water heaters, make sure you don’t wrap the burner’s access. Don’t insulate a tankless water heater and pre-insulated water heater.
With winter around the corner, you have to take extra precautions and protect your home from the cold. So make sure you do everything humanly possible to keep the cold air out and make your home even warmer before the winter. After all, proper winterization can also protect your home from unnecessary damages.