As we enter the cold part of the year in Ireland, here are 50 tips for how to winterize your home. If you have a suggestion that isn’t in the list be sure to add it in the comments.
1. Replace any old or inefficient windows. Windows are one of the major ways heat leaks out of your house.
2. Seal off drafty windows and patio doors with clear plastic.
3. If you have a lot of outside doors that leak air, you can seal a few off using plastic or caulk putty.
4. If your furnace is more than 10 years old, there’s a good chance that it wastes a lot of fuel. Consider upgrading to a newer one.
5. Insulate the hot water lines around your hot water heater and turn down the temperature of the water heater to the “warm” setting (120 degrees F).
6. Consider “blanketing” your water heater with faced fiberglass insulation. (Do not do this if you have a gas-powered water heater)
7. Wrap any hot water pipes that run through unheated areas of the house. Also, you can insulate cold water pipes to help prevent them from freezing during the winter.
8. Replace your furnace filter about every 3 months.
9. Make sure your cold air returns aren’t blocked. Your furnace needs these to operate efficiently.
10. Try replacing the weather stripping around the doors in your home.
11. Use a programmable thermostat to reduce heating costs when no one is at home.
12. Uncover all south-facing windows to let all possible sunlight in your home.
13. Keep all vents and baseboard heaters clean.
14. If you have a fireplace, close the damper when the fireplace is not in use.
15. If the damper is old or doesn’t close well, try putting some insulation in it to seal it off. Just remember to take it out before using it!
16. If you like using a fireplace, consider getting an insert that will direct the heat into your house instead of just sending it up the chimney.
17. Consider replacing all of your lightbulbs with energy-saving CFL bulbs.
18. Install a timer on your water heater so it isn’t heating a whole tank of water when you don’t need it.
19. Install foam insulators behind the face plates of light switches and electrical outlets.
20. Check the insulation in the walls of your home. It might need some work in order to keep heat in efficiently.
21. Plant evergreen trees close to your home to block the winter wind.
22. Reverse the direction of ceiling fans to push hot air downward and delay it from escaping the house.
23. Consider hanging thermal curtains to help prevent drafts.
24. Install a dryer vent seal to prevent cold air from traveling back into your home.
25. There are attachments to vent your dryer inside your home so you don’t waste the heat and humidity. (Don’t try this if you have a gas-powered dryer).
26. Check windows for leaks. Windows with wooden frames often warp and become inefficient.
27. Caulk both sides of the trim around your windows. This is an area where a lot of air can get in.
28. Try not to use space heaters to heat large areas of your house.
29. If you spend most of your time in one room in a large house, consider setting your thermostat low and using a small heater to heat where you are going to be.
30. Remove any window-unit air conditioners.
31. Keep all closet doors closed when possible. There’s no need to heat space that isn’t in use as long as it doesn’t contain water pipes.
32. Make sure that your garage isn’t too drafty.
33. Try to use the clothes dryer for consecutive loads of laundry. This conserves the energy that would be needed to heat up the dryer several times.
34. Replace the caulking around any bathtubs or showers.
35. If your home has folding attic stairs, consider insulating the door with a cover of some sort.
36. If your home has a sliding glass door, check the seal on the bottom to make sure it isn’t letting in cold air.
37. If your water heater needs to be upgraded, consider installing a tankless water heater.
38. Use the oven for baking during colder hours of the day to help heat your home.
39. Install storm doors to help keep out drafts.
40. Use an energy monitor to tell you what appliances are using the most energy. This might help pinpoint areas where you can cut back on energy usage.
41. Make sure that your duct system is working properly.
42. Look into installing a geothermal heating system. While it is a bit expensive, initially, the energy savings provide a long-term cost benefit.
43. Dress warmly when you are inside so that you won’t be tempted to raise the temperature on the thermostat.
44. Make sure that there aren’t any drafts coming in under doors. If there are, consider using a rubber strip to seal them off.
45. If you own a brick home, check the mortar. It may need repair.
46. Replace worn or missing shingles.
47. Seal any cracks in the foundation of your house.
48. Wear socks and slippers. If your feet are warm, you will feel warmer and can keep the thermostat set low.
49. Install a programmable Energy Star thermostat that will lower the temperature at night and when no one is at home.
50. Close off rooms that aren’t used and shut the vents.
So how do you winterize your house?
Any winterization tips are welcome in the comments below.