• Douglas Paterson

Winterize Your Home Now, Save Later!

Updated: Mar 21, 2021

cold and icicles

Here, it comes, Winter!!  For some it will be met with a groan while others will rejoice with the return of winter sports and hot chocolate.  With this change in seasons comes the opportunity to take stock of your humble abode and make sure you and it are ready for the coming snow, ice and general cold weather.  With a bit of well-placed attention to you’ll be more comfortable, save on bills and help prevent of expensive repair costs in the future.  While this may not be an exhaustive list, we’ve gathered together a few simple things you and the family can do get your house ready for winter.

Taking care of minor issues, yourself, or engaging with a professional now, can save you time and headaches later. When the cold weather hits, it will be far more challenging to deal with these home maintenance jobs, so do not procrastinate, don’t hold off, get these off the couch and get these done!


Search your window frames, doors and exterior walls for cracks and gaps which may let in water or drafts.  Doors and windows very often will be found to have small and medium gaps that let heat out and cold in.  Some of these may be easy to fill or fix yourself and they are guaranteed to both save you money now and prevent damage down the line!


Going over your pipes and waterline joints looking for leaks that might cause rot and damage in the future, is time well spent.  Fix any cracks you find, paying special attention to those near electrical outlets and alarm system wiring.  Another good idea is to cover-up the pipes around your hot water tank. This helps them retain heat and keep your water hotter longer without fuel waste. There are may relatively cheap options available for pretty much any tank and pipe size.  If you are strapped for cash, you can make use of blankets or other types of insulation you may have laying around.


home in winter

When you go outside on the first few snowy days be sure to glance up at your roof.  You should see snow on the roof (sue a shaded area for this). If you can see your roof it may mean the attic is not well insulated as it the heat is escaping and melting the snow. A good way to measure this can also be to compare your snow build up with your neighbors.  Those with the best attic insulation will have the fast snow accumulation.   Pretty much any house will benefit from added insulation and investing in a bit more and good quality now so you can save you in the future.  Foam pipe insulation is amazingly simple to install and can prevent heat loss and potential water damage from frozen pipes.  Additionally, if you are really having a hard time containing the heat, you might consider insulated floors.  Big time heat loss can occur through your floors and even an added area rug can improve the situation.  Also, be sure to fill any flooring gaps with silicone.


Before the winter arrives, be sure to have an expert check and clean your heating source(s). Chimneys should be cleaned regularly if heated by wood and if you have oil heaters make sure to update the filters.  You should be regularly replacing your gas furnaces air filters and doing so a bit more frequent in the winter is a good idea, particularly if you furnace is getting a bit old.  Of course, the best practice for furnaces is to have it serviced in the fall so a an expert technician can check its efficiency and for any potential hazards.  Gas fireplaces should not be ignored either.  Making sure they are working safely is critical.  Also, should a ice storm hit and know out the electricity for a while, a gas fireplace can help keep the place warm for considerable time.


It is tempting to turn your heat way up and enjoy ongoing warmth throughout the winter, but proper thermostat programming can help you save money and even sleep better.  Have your heat sources inspected for efficiency and use a thermostat which is programmable to help you save money and reduce wear on your system.  Set it to turn on early so the room heats up in the morning versus cranking the heat when you need to get warm quickly. Have the heat shut off half an hour before bed or before heading out to work.  Sleeping in a colder room helps most people get a more restful sleep and if you find you are a bit too chilly at night, a safely positioned space heater and closed door will be much cheaper!

house in winter woods


The last thing you want to do is to try and heat up your entire neighborhood.   Leaving doors open and having your heating system working too hard is of course a big no-no, so closing the door is a no-brainer.   Similar to this, and something few people realize is that keeping your internal doors closed will also help.  Keeping internal doors closed prevents heat transfer out of those rooms when a window or door in another room is opened.  This not only ensures those rooms stay warm, but will also reduce the work on your heating system to get multiple rooms back up the preferred temperature.


A storm kit is a good source of reliable, essential items in the event of losing power or being snowed in for a while. Consider what you and your family might need (don’t forget the pets). Some folks can get pretty creative win their kit development, but the basics include a flashlight with new batteries, candles, matches, a portable radio, water, snacks that don’t need to be cooked and portable battery packs to keep the cell phone charged and perhaps a tablet to pass the time.  Needless to say, store your kit somewhere easy to access and remember where it is.

Well that is all I have for you this time.  Remember spending a bit of time getting ready for a change in seasons is worth the small effort required.  You and your home will be ready for whatever the winter brings allowing you to focus on enjoying more time with friends and family.

Doug Paterson

Doug Paterson

Mortgage Agent in Ontario, Canada.

Dominion Lending Centres.

416.432.8836 | www.dougpaterson.com

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