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Building Science

Winterizing Tips That Work

If you really want to prepare your home for winter, ignore the standard advice and do this instead

A disconnected duct in an unconditioned crawl space can waste a lot of energy and make your home less comfortable. Fortunately, it's easy to fix.
Image Credit: Energy Vanguard

Of course, everyone knows that caulking your windows and weatherstripping your doors won’t help you much. Right?

Well, all the cool kids do anyway, and that includes you because you’re here reading this article. A lot of the standard advice on getting your home ready for winter is filled with bunk. That includes the stuff that comes from many utility companies and famous people who try to help you save money, like Clark Howard. But what should you really do to prepare your home for an efficient and cozy winter?

Today, I’ll give you some tips that will be much more effective than caulking the windows. Ready?

1. Identify your pain

What’s your motivation for wanting to do something about your home? Are you dreading getting those utility bills? Do you have rooms that you just can’t use in winter? Does your house start smelling musty? Does that condensation on the windows bother you?

The first step is to identify your pain because that’s where you’ll find the motivation to do anything about the problems. It’s also critical in identifying the sources of those problems.

2. Assess your ability and bring in the pros

First, a little Building Science 101: A house is a system. If you don’t understand how all the pieces work together, don’t try to do too much yourself. A lot of DIYers with great intentions end up costing themselves more money or even poisoning their families because they don’t understand the potential impacts of changes they make.

For example, if you have a natural draft water heater in the laundry room, sealing up that room could cause backdrafting and put carbon monoxide into the air inside the home. Even worse, he most likely time for this to happen…

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