Willie Wiredhand’s 12 Days of Christmas: Cold Weather Home Prep Edition

On the twelfth day of Christmas, the cold weather gave to me…

Twelve water-tight windows, 

Windows are an easy place for air to get in your house. Consider using inside window plastic. This is available at Wal-Mart and Lowes. It stops the drafts as well as condensation that may form on windows. 

Eleven insulated plug-ins, 

Insulate wall outlets with foam pads. Be sure to occupy both plugs with either an electric appliance plug or the baby safe plugs to realize the full air sealing potential. 

 Ten caulked windowsills,  

Check around windows and doors. Seal (with caulk) any gaps around trim and under windowsills 

Nine naturally warmed rooms, 

Let the sun warm your house during the day and close curtains to retain heat at night. 

Eight air vents a-gaping,  

Be sure the return air vents are not blocked by any furniture. 

Seven filters a-standby, 

If you have a unit that requires air filters, make sure you change your filters monthly. This can reduce your bill by as much as $25. 

Six closed doors, 

Close doors to unused rooms. 

Five Fire detectors, 

Residential fires are much more common during the cold months. Double-check that all your fire detectors work and consider installing carbon monoxide detectors. 

Four sealed sinks, 

Use expanding foam to seal gaps under sinks where your drains and water lines come through the cabinet or wall. 

Three inches of foam, 

If your attic can be accessed from within the house, use a Weather Strip around the rim where the attic panel rests to stop air leaks from the attic. Use two to three inches of foam board to stop the heat from moving through the board and into the attic, (and vice versa in the summer.) Glue the foam board to the back of the panel. 

Two weather strips, and 

Inspect Weather Strip on outside facing doors. Make sure it isn’t worn or chewed and looks like new. If you see light around the door, then cold air is seeping into your house. Replacing a Weather Strip is a quick and inexpensive replacement. You can YouTube or Google for examples. Check with your local hardware store or chain store for supplies. 

Wrapped pipes preventing water freezing. 

For any pipe exposed to outside elements, or is not in a heated space, use pipe wrap to insulate. Or when temperatures are below freezing, allow a steady trickle of water to flow through pipes to avoid freezing.