11 Ways to Winterize Your Home on a Budget

Keep the cold out, the heat in, and your energy bill down with these cost-effective tips for winterizing your home.

  1. Clean Your Gutters

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    clean gutters before winter

    You've heard it before, but we can't stress this enough. Making sure that water can flow freely through your gutters now will help prevent icicles and ice dams from forming later. 

    Cost: Other than your sweat and time, free.

    istockphoto.com

  2. Flush the Water Heater

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    Flush the Water Heater

    Particles and sediment can collect over time in the bottom of your water heater, hindering the unit's efficiency. Flush the water through the drain valve to clear out the material and keep your heater functioning at its best. 

    Cost: 100% free if you do it yourself!

    istockphoto.com

  3. Clockwise Ceiling Fans

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    Ceiling Fan Direction

    Ceiling fans are everyone's favorite summer budget-saver. But they can help out in the winter as well! Have your ceiling fans move in a clockwise direction so they push hot air along the ceiling towards the floor. If they're going counterclockwise, they won't be as effective. 

    Cost: free if you have a fan.

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  4. Window Insulation Film

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    Window Insulation Film

    It may not be the most fashionable tip, but window insulation film can keep up to 70% of heat from leaking out of the windows. You won't mind the appearance when you're toasty warm in your house!

    Cost: $5 to $15 per kit.

    amazon.com

  5. Draft Guards

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    Draft Guards

    In a drafty room, heat escapes under the door. When winterizing your house, place draft guards by the doors to prevent heat loss. It's a simple solution that keeps your house warm and saves you from wasting energy

    Cost: $10 to $20 or free if you place a rolled towel at the bottom of the door.  

    amazon.com

  6. Replace Filters

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    Replace Filters

    Regularly changing the filters in your central air and heating system can significantly improve its efficiency and longevity, while easing the pressure on your wallet. 

    Cost: $20 to $35 for a pack of filters.

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  7. Weatherstrip Tape

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    Weatherstripping

    Drafts and air leaks increase your heating costs, so make sure your windows and doors are sealed tight with weatherstripping. Simple, easy, and smart. 

    Cost: $5 to $10 per roll.

    istockphoto.com

  8. Fiberglass Insulation

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    Fiberglass Insulation

    For maximum heat retention, pack fiberglass insulation around basement doors, windows in unused rooms, and window AC units. Make sure your attic floor is insulated, too. Just remember to be careful and wear gloves! 

    Cost: around $25 per roll.

    istockphoto.com

  9. Programmable Thermostat

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    Programmable Thermostat

    The US Department of Energy says you can save as much as 1% on your energy bill for every degree you lower your home's temperature during the winter. Install a programmable thermostat now and save money by keeping the temp down when you're not at home. 

    Cost: prices vary from basic versions for around $35 to $60 to smart-home options in the $100 to $200 range.

    istockphoto.com

  10. Just Caulk It

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    Caulk Gaps

    Any remaining gaps in siding, windows, or doors can be filled with caulk. For extra drafty windows and doors, caulk the inside too, pulling off moldings to fill all gaps in the insulation. 

    Cost: $10 for a caulk gun and less than $5 for a tube of caulk.

    istockphoto.com

  11. Chimney Balloon

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    Chimney Balloon

    Your chimney is a huge source of heat loss come wintertime. If not in active use, plug it up with a chimney balloon when winterizing your home to keep drafts out and heat in. 

    Cost: $25 to $60 depending on the size of the balloon.

    amazon.com

  12. See the House of the Week

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    Discover and admire beautiful and innovative home architecture, from grand Victorians to quaint cabins and all the styles in between. Take a look at the latest images and inspiration!