12 Ways to Prep Your Entire Home for Cool Weather
Make sure your home is ready for winter from the inside out.
It may still be 80 degrees in some parts of the country, but the weather will cool down before we know it. Is your home winter-ready? Follow our tips on how to maintain your home's exterior and interior, plus get ideas on how to cozy-up your space for the upcoming seasons' holidays, too.
Repair Loose Roof Shingles
Your roof and gutters need to be in good shape to keep moisture and icy accumulation away. Start by looking for any loose shingles and making sure they're nailed down properly. Consult a professional for big damages, or follow DIY Network's instructions on how to repair a damaged roof.
Clean Out Gutters
Scraping Leaves Out of Gutter
Removing debris isn't only a fall chore in some yards; many trees such as black locust, oaks and maples drop litter in spring and summer. While you're clearing the gutters, also check for cracks in the seams. Use an old chisel to scrape the old caulking out and dry the area thoroughly. Use new bead silicon sealing to keep water from getting behind the gutters and rotting the boards.
While you're on the roof, clear gutters from leaf debris, and install a leaf guard if you haven't already. Clear downspouts by spraying water through it on a warm day. Follow our instructions for proper gutter cleaning and repair.
Turn Off Exterior Faucets
Don Hamilton Studio
Disconnect your hose and drain any remaining water from the faucet to prevent pipes from bursting.
Protect Plants From Frost
“We find that our winter crops do better if we get them planted in late September-early October,” Smith states, “and using frost blankets really help.” Another option for protecting your edible plants from plummeting temperatures is creating little hoop houses or tunnels covered in plastic to shelter them. Just remember to vent them when the sun comes out and the heat rises under the plastic.
Image courtesy of P. Allen Smith, photography by Hortus LTD
Tender, young plants won't survive winter frost. To protect them, cover with a blanket or plastic sheet overnight. If you cover with plastic, be sure to remove before the sun hits the plant or it'll cook.
Add Extra Mulch
Protect perennials from the cold weather by simply adding more mulch. Add enough to cover the crowns of the plant — about 2 to 4 inches. Straw, hay and leaves work just as well.
Reverse the Direction of Ceiling Fans
Neutral Transitional Master Bedroom With Round Ottoman
In the grand master bedroom, floor-length curtains call attention to the sky-high ceilings. Lots of plush, rounded surfaces, like the ottomans, are an easy way to make a room comfortable as well as family friendly. Designed by Bill Moore, Chris Reebals and Emory Ratliff
Chris Luker Photography
You probably don't think about the ceiling fan during winter, but it can actually save energy by pushing rising heat back into the room — at the same level as what your thermostat registers. Most fan models have a switch that reverses the blades' direction. Make sure the fan is spinning clockwise during the season (and counterclockwise during summer).
Seal Window Gaps
Caulking is the air-sealing method of choice for stationary parts of your home, like window frames and electrical outlets. Wait for a warm, dry day; clean the area you’re caulking and remove any loose debris; hold the gun consistently at a 45-degree angle; and apply the caulk in a smooth stream without stopping.
Prevent cool air from entering your home by filling any large gaps around your windowsill with caulk.
Hang Heavy-Duty Drapes
Grey Silk Drapes With Metallic Hardware
Custom faux silk draperies add a tailored, metallic and masculine touch. To add masculine flair to window treatments, choose drapery hardware that's sleek and stripped of fussy, ornamental detail.
Another easy way to keep the draft out is by hanging thermal or heavy-duty window treatments.
Clean Your Chimney
Cozy Seating in Southwestern Home Office
Small cobalt blue tile is used for the fireplace surround, adding color and Mexican flair to the seating area of this home office. Exposed wood beams, bookshelves and rustic mantel add warmth to the space, while comfortable armchairs create the ideal spot for relaxing by the fire.
Dan Piassick, Piassick Photo
'Tis the season to light a fire. Before you do, shine a flashlight up the chimney. If you see cracks and black soot, call a chimney pro. Follow our other fireplace safety tips.
Swap Out Your Bedding
Winter Bedroom With Menswear Pillows
The cool silvers and blues of the contemporary bedroom give it the look of a winter wonderland. Delicate patterns found on the headboard, wallpaper and bedding add depth to the space, while upcycled menswear pillows make a unique style statement.
Nothing is as satisfying as a warm bed after coming in from a blustery day. Choose thick fabrics, like flannel and knits, and layer blankets to your heart's desire.
Add Scents of the Season
The holidays are fast approaching, and your home should reflect that. Warm some natural ingredients on the stovetop — you'll want to curl up with a blanket and a good book. Try one (or all!) of our DIY natural scents.
Hang String Lights
Cozy Family Room Features Playful Lighting
Whimsical lighting steals the show in this cozy family room. Behind the sofa, string lights gracefully adorn the wall, and above the armchair, a lighted art installation adds a cool, crisp pattern to the space.
Claire Esparros for Homepolish
Hang string lights throughout your home to create a warm glow and as a nod to the holidays to come.