12 Tips on How to Prepare Your Home for Winter Weather

Leaves are falling, and pumpkin spice is all the rage. While winter weather has already arrived in some places, it’s not far behind everywhere else. To help prepare your home for winter, the experts at Aire Serv® have put together this helpful guide on how to prepare your home for cold weather. This guide was developed to help you save money on energy and ride out the chilly months in cozy comfort. Let’s get started on our 12 tips to prepare your home for winter.

Winterproofing Your Home: Our 12-Step Guide

1. Replace Air Filters

When learning how to prepare your home for cold weather, replacing your air filters is a great place to start. As you crank up the heat, the filters in your HVAC system work overtime to keep the circulating air clean and allergen-free. Old or clogged filters force your heating system to work harder, costing you more on your energy bills. Now is also a great time to replace all the air filters for your air purifiers and humidifiers. Start the winter with fresh filters to maintain optimal air quality throughout the season.

2. Reverse Your Ceiling Fans

Tips about how to prepare your home for cold weather aren’t always complicated. Reversing your ceiling fans is one simple and practical way to do it. Switching fans so they rotate counterclockwise helps redistribute the warm air that collects near the ceiling.

3. Seal Air Leaks

Securing the windows and doors against drafts is an essential facet of how to winterproof your home. Keeping the cold air out and warm air from escaping through tiny gaps around door frames and window casings will increase your comfort and energy savings throughout the year. Again, wet your hand to help pinpoint holes and gaps through which your warm air escapes. Use weatherstripping around surfaces that must move, like windows or doors that open and close. Use caulk around fixed or stationary features to prevent air or moisture from seeping through. In addition, search for air leaks around any crawl spaces, the basement, and the attic. Use weather stripping or caulking to seal up any small air leaks. For larger gaps, turn to insulation. Taking steps like this will help improve energy efficiency, which will save you money this winter and beyond.

4. Ensure Your Ductwork Is Sealed

Leaky ductwork causes warm air to leak into the attic and crawl space areas, which makes heating your home less efficient and causes your HVAC equipment to work harder, which increases utility bills.

5. Insulate Your Home

If you haven’t already insulated your home, it's an essential part of how to prepare your house for cold weather. Prioritize the walls, attic, basement, and ductwork using insulation materials like fiberglass, cellulose, or spray foam. Over time, insulation can deteriorate, and it can be damaged by animals or moisture. Effective insulation secures your indoor warmth, shields against winter’s bite, and is essential to energy conservation. A step like adding or upgrading the insulation in your home will eventually pay for itself in the form of greater energy savings.

6. Install Low-Emissivity (Low-E) Windows

A significant amount of your home’s heat is lost through outdated, old windows. The glass panes allow heat to pass through your windows. In cold climates, investing in low-emissivity or low-E windows can pay significant dividends in the form of energy savings. These windows are treated with a special coating that reflects the heat back into the living spaces, safeguarding against the winter chill and reducing heating costs.

7. Program Your Thermostat

You can be consistently comfortable and save on your heating bills this winter by getting to know your thermostat better. It’s a simple yet effective tip for how to prepare your home for cold weather. Set your thermostat to between 68 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit while you’re awake, which should keep everyone in the house comfortable. When it’s time to go to sleep or if you’re away from home, turn your thermostat down 7 to 10 degrees, which will help you save considerably on your heating bills. If you’re chilly at night, add an extra blanket or two to your bedding to stay warm and cozy.

8. Use Zoned Heating

Preparing your home for cold weather means making judicious use of zoned heating. Specific HVAC systems like ductless mini-split units allow you to selectively heat the zones of your home that get the most use without wastefully heating empty rooms. Best of all, zoning systems can be added to existing HVAC equipment. Contact a local Aire Serv® professional for answers to your questions about zoned HVAC systems as well as installing, maintaining, and servicing them.

9. Inspect Your Water Heater System

Ensuring your water heater is in good repair is a significant part of preparing for winter. Cold winters demand plenty of hot water, so your system needs to operate without a hitch. Inspect for any leaks, unusual noises, or inconsistent heating. A proactive inspection helps prevent mid-winter breakdowns and keeps the hot showers coming all season long.

10. Service Your Furnace or Heat Pump

When considering how to prepare your home for cold weather, don’t overlook the heart of your home’s warmth: the heating system. An HVAC service professional will ensure you have no gas leaks or electrical issues and the equipment is sound. Having your furnace or heat pump professionally serviced now ensures it continues to work at peak condition safely and efficiently when you need it most.

11. Invest in a Whole Home Humidification System

Learning how to prepare your home for cold weather is all about maintaining your comfort while making your home more energy efficient. Because dry air does not hold heat well, a humidifier can help to keep your home more comfortable in the winter. Furthermore, it helps to prevent the spread of allergens and airborne pathogens. A trained HVAC or indoor air quality specialist can help create a system that delivers peak indoor humidity levels for each homeowner’s specific needs and preferences. Investing in a humidifier is essential to your family’s comfort and improving air quality all winter long.

12. Schedule a Professional HVAC Inspection

Whether you’re learning specifically how to prepare the house for a freeze or doing more general winter prep for your home, you must ensure your HVAC system is in top condition. When you schedule a professional HVAC inspection or heater maintenance visit with Aire Serv, a specialist will identify and fix any issues to ensure your system continues to operate efficiently.

Don't Let Cold Weather Catch You Off Guard

With our top 12 tips for how to prepare your home for cold weather, you can protect your family and home from the cold while insulating your wallet from high heating bills. That’s a win-win! You can count on your local Aire Serv professional as your trusted partner for winter preparation. Our highly trained service professionals arrive for your HVAC inspection or other HVAC services promptly, neatly uniformed, and driving our branded and well-equipped van. We’ll ensure your equipment is clean and in excellent condition to meet the challenges of the season ahead. And, as a proud member of the Neighborly community of home service brands, the Neighborly Done Right Promise backs all our work, so your satisfaction is guaranteed. To prepare your home for cold weather, schedule your HVAC inspection with Aire Serv today. We’ll help you keep your home warm and cozy throughout the winter.