Image of a large vinyl fixed window looking out over a snow-covered tree on a winter day.

Winterizing your home will ensure warmth and save energy during the chilliest months of year.

Winter is coming. Depending on where you live, it may already have arrived. Here are 12 different ways to winterize your home so you can stay warm and save on heating bills throughout the cold season.

1. Convert to Gas 

There’s nothing cozier than a roaring fire on a winter day. Gas fireplaces not only offer modern convenience, they are also an energy-efficient heat source.

2. Wash the Windows 

Give your windows a good cleaning before winter so you can enjoy seeing clearly through them and so light can flood into your home. Paying close attention to your panes also makes it easier to pinpoint any cracks or caulking damage.

3. Patch up Cracks 

Did you know that about 10% of home air leakage happens around windows? Apply caulking and weatherstripping to make your windows more energy efficient and save money on your energy bill.

4. Clean the Gutters 

Remember to clean the leaves and plants out of your gutters before winter, so you won’t have a mess to clean up in spring. After scooping out leaves and debris, flush the gutters with water to make sure they are clear.

5. Have the Furnace Inspected 

It is always a good idea to have your furnace inspected before the cold season. If your furnace isn’t running properly, or if the filters are clogged, it can increase the cost of heating your home.

6. Find and Foam 

You may have already insulated your doors and windows, but have you looked for hidden cracks around pipes? Hard-to-spot holes can be patched up with caulking or sealant foam so your home is airtight.

7. Install Insulation 

With cold Canadian winters, you can never have too much insulation. Make sure your attic and basement are coated with about a foot of insulation foam. Don’t forget to insulate around pipes to prevent them from freezing.

8. Buy a Programmable Thermostat 

With a programmable thermostat, you can set it so that your house is warmer when you are home and cooler when you are at work. This way you can still come home to a warm home, while reducing your overall heating costs.

9. Set Mouse Traps 

If mice and rodents take refuge in your home during winter, they can chew on insulation and cause air leaks. Set mouse traps in cellars, attics, or around pantries, and keep your eyes peeled for droppings.

10. Change your Furnace Filter 

You should change your furnace filter regularly to ensure you aren’t overpaying on your heating bill. Also, buy enough replacement filters to keep you going through the winter.

11. Upgrade Your Windows and Doors 

New energy-efficient windows and doors not only help keep your home cool in the summer, but they also help trap in warm air so you don’t have to run your furnace as high to stay comfortable. Purchasing new windows and doors is one of the most effective ways to winterize your home.

12. Recharge 

Did you know that during the winter your home is more susceptible to catching fire? Install fresh batteries in your smoke detector, to ensure your home’s safety as well as your own.