8 Wise Ways to Winter-Proof Your Home for Practically Nothing

Winter is coming! Is your house ready to deal with harsh winter winds, blowing snow, and frosty windows? A well winterized home has what it takes to stand up to winter temps, keeping warm air in and cold air—well—out in the cold. Luckily, winterizing your home doesn’t have to cost a fortune. These wise ways to winter-proof your home are inexpensive, easily to do yourself, and should help reduce your winter energy costs.

  1. Install Storm Doors

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    How to Install Storm Door

    A storm door is an additional outer door that adds protection in harsh, winter months. Typically made from wood, plastic, or aluminum, storm doors provide an additional layer of insulation around your home's entry points. That means you're losing less warm air and keeping cold air out of your home.


    Related: Slash Your Electric Bill with 11 Savvy Hacks

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  2. Caulk the Gaps

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    How to Caulk

    To stop cold drafts from chilling your home, get your caulking gun. Check for little gaps along doors and window frames. To find where leaky spots, have someone blow air from a hair dryer through suspicious gaps, while you hold a candle along the inside of window and door frames. If the light flickers, there's a draft. Caulk over the leaky portion to save on heating costs and stay warmer all winter.


    Related: 11 Ways to Winterize Your Home on a Budget

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  3. DIY a Draft Snake

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    Draft Dodgers

    Draft snakes became popular during the Great Depression. There's a good reason why: They are a cheap way to keep the cold at bay. You can buy draft snakes in stores or online, but it's just as easy to make your own by sewing fabric into a long tub and filling a pouch with sand or rice.


    Related: Draft Dodgers—9 DIY Creations to Keep Out the Cold

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  4. Bubble Wrap Your Windows

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    Insulating Glass

    Inefficient windows are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to winter heating loss. If yours are old, chances are they're not up to the job of keeping necessary heat inside your home where it belongs. Replacing those outdated windows, however, is expensive. Luckily, there's a temporary solution to prevent cold air from leaking through your windows. Try covering them with bubble wrap. It may look odd, but the bubble wrap will trap cold air pockets, while still allowing light to shine through the glass.


    Related: 6 Steps to a Cozy Winter Home

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  5. Watch Your Thermostat

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    Save Fuel

    Though you may be tempted to set the thermostat to a toasty warm temperature, doing so can mean an uncomfortably high energy bill. Instead, turn down the thermostat when you're away from the home, and also before heading to bed. A programmable thermostat can be set to coincide with your alarm clock and your work day so the heat is already on as soon as you need it. 


    Related: 5 New Smart Home Gadgets for 2015

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  6. Add Extra Insulation

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    How to Stay Warm in Winter

    We’ve all heard that heat rises. Translation: If your attic isn’t insulated, all that warm air is escaping from your home. Adding extra insulation in the attic, in the walls of an attached garage, or in the basement ceiling are some of the best ways to keep your house warm and cozy this winter.


    Related: 7 Things to Do Right Now for a Warmer Winter

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  7. Change the Direction of the Ceiling Fan

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    How to Save More Money

    Chances are you only use your ceiling fans in the summer and leave them switched off all winter. However, if you change the direction of the fan, you can actually help distribute warm air in the room. Counter-clockwise rotation creates a cool breeze, while clockwise rotation pushes warm air into the room.


    Related: 30 Things Every Homeowner Should Know How to Do

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  8. Remove Your A/C Window Unit

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    Air Conditioner Tips

    It may seem like extra work, but taking the time to remove the A/C unit from your window prevents cold air from sneaking through cracks. If you can't manage to remove it, invest in a heavy tarp to cover the unit during the winter.


    Related: Bob Vila's 10 "Must Do" Projects for December

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  9. 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!