Get Ready for Winter

Now that it’s almost November, you’ve probably spent some time getting your yard ready for winter by raking leaves, putting the gardens to bed, and maybe putting away some outdoor furniture. But before you get too comfy with that cup of hot chocolate, you’ll want to make sure your house is ready for winter. And fall is the best time to start planning that renovation or addition you are thinking about for next spring. I’ll give you a few tips on things you can do to winterize your home.

Home Winterization Checklist

Here are a few things you can do so your house is ready for the cold, and keeps you nice and cozy in the next few months. If you’d like to look at a more comprehensive list, check

 Easy Home Winterizing Checklist

  • Schedule a Home Energy audit. This is tops on my list for a reason. An audit is a great way to find out the best ways you can make your particular home more efficient. An auditor can help you determine which improvements have the best return on investment, helping you save on your heating bills this winter, and on air conditioning next summer. Instead of guessing what to do, an auditor will use special equipment like a blower door and infra-red camera to see where your house is losing energy. And now is a great time to get an audit. Dominion East Ohio is offering audits for $50 through their Home Performance with Energy Star Program. Find out more at:

Dominion East Ohio

Or you can look for a certified auditor through the Building Performance Institute at

Building Performance Institute

  • Storm Windows: put them in or close them up. Storm windows do a good job of making older windows more energy efficient, but they only work if they are closed! Take some time and go around your house to make sure they are in place.

  • Put in a clean furnace filter. Your furnace will run more efficiently with a clean filter.

  • Turn off your exterior faucets. Most outside hose bibs need to be turned off at the shut off valve inside the house to protect the pipes from getting damaged by freezing. Even if you have “frost free” hose bibs, you still need to make sure you have disconnected your hoses. And if you have a rain barrel, be sure to drain it and disconnect it from your downspouts!

  • Clean your gutters.  Wet leaves add a lot of weight to your gutters and add to the risk of damage from ice.  Overflowing gutters also mean you have more water against your basement walls, which can lead to a damp or wet basement.

  • Check your fireplace damper. Your damper needs to be open while a fire is burning, but after that it should be closed to keep the heated air in your home from going up the chimney. You may even want to consider a “chimney balloon” to create a tighter seal in the flue.