The arrival of winter brings many things –– some good and some not so good. Christmas markets, festive food and holiday cheer certainly all fall into the good. While snow storms, icy roads and relentless cold weather definitely fall the other way. It’s not just you that notices this difference, either. Your home is on the front line against these seasonal differences. For this reason, giving your house or apartment a helping hand will help prevent unwanted problems, like burst pipes and cold drafts, and save you money in the process.
Winterizing your home is an important process each and every year. A badly prepared home will not only feel less comfortable throughout the winter, it will also leak money from every orifice, leading to horrifying electricity and gas bills.
Luckily, the winterization process is relatively simple, and there are any number of steps you can take to protect your home, depending on the type of place you live in. These steps include preventing outdoor problems by cleaning your gutters and planting a tree line or protecting indoor spaces by sealing up drafts and insulating your boiler.
To get you on the right path to a warmer, cheaper winter, we’ve put together a list of the key elements required to get your home ready for the winter. We’ve included everything from a carbon-monoxide detector to a tree species for planting a protective tree line. You’ll also find an advanced thermostat which helps optimize your home to minimize wasted energy.
So make sure your home is ready for winter with this list of handy hints, and don’t find yourself sitting in bed with three sweaters on because the boiler’s broken and there’s a draft you just can’t seem to locate.
1. Kidde Nighthawk Carbon Monoxide Detector Alarm
Above all else, it’s important to ensure your home is safe. This is especially true during the winter when more appliances will be running inside a confined environment. The wall-mounted Kidde Nighthawk Carbon Monoxide Detector Alarm displays the CO-level inside your home and has a loud alarm for when levels increase. In addition, the clear LED in the corner lets you see that your device is functioning normally, and the device includes space for a nine-volt battery to ensure continuous functionality during power outages.
2. Frost King Natural Cotton Pipe Wrap
BEST MONEY-SAVING PICK
By adding this Frost King Natural Cotton Pipe Wrap to your pipes, you’ll provide insulation to help maintain temperatures, prevent freezing and reduce the amount of work your boiler needs to do. Not only does this help lower your bills, it also cushions and lessens vibration on ducts to lower the chance of leaks and breaks during the winter. This wrap also sports a Class-A fire rating.
3. Papillon Foam Insulation Tape Adhesive
The Papillion Foam Insulation Tape Adhesive is a versatile answer to winterizing your home. This one-sided foam insulation tape can be used to reduce drafts around doors and windows, seal vents and insulate all kinds of pipes. It’s made to last and can withstand water, weather, chemicals and extreme temperatures, making it more than capable of lasting through the winter and beyond.
4. 3M Indoor Window Insulator Kit
BEST FOR WINDOW INSULATION
When it comes to providing insulation for your windows, there are few better options than this 3M Indoor Window Insulator Kit. The comprehensive kit stops cold drafts and reduces frost buildup on your windows. Included in the kit, you’ll find film sheeting and tape to insulate up to five three foot by five foot windows. The kit can be easily applied and acts just like an additional storm window, reducing heat loss and lowering heating bills.
5. deeToolMan Door Draft Stopper
BEST FOR DOOR DRAFTS
One of the worst drafts you can have in your home is under your doors. Left unchecked, these open spaces can prevent your home from ever reaching a comfortable warmth, especially on sub-freezing nights. Adding the deeToolMan Door Draft Stopper to the bottom of your doors is an effective and temporary answer to the problem. It’s made from sturdy and durable styrofoam with a luxury fabric covering, allowing it to glide across floors with ease. The velcro fastening means it can be easily removed for cleaning or during the summer when such breezes are welcome.
6. Filtrete AC Furnace Air Filter
BEST ANYTIME MAINTENANCE PICK
Even though winter is when the filters in your AC and heating systems will do most of their work, there’s never a bad time to change them. By regularly cleaning or changing your filters, you maximize your system’s efficiency and longevity. These Filtrete AC Furnace Air Filters are available in a range of sizes, ensuring there’s one to fit your needs. Furthermore, the 300-MPR rating provides cleaner air flow by trapping unwanted air particles like lint, mold spores and dust mite debris.
7. COSFLY Air Conditioner Cover
BEST FOR WEATHER PROTECTION
As you’re not going to be using your AC during the winter (unless it does heating and cooling), it’s a good idea to protect your outdoor unit from the harsh weather in order to increase its lifespan. This COSFLY Air Conditioner Cover easily slips over your unit to put a waterproof barrier between it and any rain, ice and snow your area may experience. The high-quality cover won’t crack, even in the coldest temperatures and also includes drawstrings to ensure a secure fit around the unit.
8. Frost King Water Heater Insulation Blanket
EASIEST TO INSTALL
Another product designed for minimizing heat loss is the Frost King All Season Water Heater Insulation Blanket. At three inches thick, this 60 by 90 inch blanket provides a significant barrier to ensure heat loss is kept to a minimum. Simply wrap the blanket around your hot water tank using the included plastic tape to secure it and enjoy less heat loss and lower energy bills.
9. Miloo Attic Stairs Insulation Cover
LEAST OBVIOUS ADDITION
If you’ve ever ventured into your attic in winter, you’ll already know the temperature difference is significant. As heat rises, it’s little surprise these cavities are a significant site of heat loss. Most people pad their loft with insulation, but many forget to cover the access hole. This Miloo Attic Stairs Insulation Cover is easy to fit and provides an additional barrier to keep heat inside your home and the winter cold at bay. Simply attach the cover to your loft entrance and use the built-in zipper to access your loft when needed.
10. Chimney Balloon® Inflatable Blocker
BEST FOR CHIMNEY DRAFTS
Another of the major drafts you’ll encounter during the winter is through your chimney. Obviously, if you use your fireplace and chimney use, don’t block it. But, for households where the chimney is no longer used, installing a blocker like this Chimney Balloon® Inflatable Blocker can reduce your heating bill by up to 30%. These handy house additions come in a range of sizes to ensure there’s one to fit your flue.
11. Brighter Blooms Arborvitae Evergreen Trees
BEST LONG-TERM ANSWER
While most of the fixes on our list deal with preventing heat from escaping your home, these Brighter Blooms Arborvitae Evergreen Trees work from the outside. By planting them in a row and creating a windbreak for your home, it’s possible to save up to 30% in energy costs. These trees are available in three different sizes depending on how urgently you need your windbreak to make a difference.
12. Google Nest Learning Thermostat
The Google Nest Learning Thermostat makes things simple when it comes to keeping your home comfortable. It allows you to automatically schedule your home heating, meaning it’s easy to keep you warm when you’re there while not wasting energy when you aren’t. It also boasts WiFi connectivity which lets you control your home from your phone, laptop or tablet. Furthermore, the advanced system can also offer custom advice on ways for you to save energy.