Cold-Weather-Proofing a Home in the Southeast:

The crisp fall air still feels temperate, so it’s hard for us to believe winter is just on the horizon. Even in the Southeast, we’re vulnerable to winter storm systems, ice, and cooler temps. Take measures now to weatherproof your home for winter. With a few simple steps, you can save money on your energy bills while keeping the family cozy all winter long.


Insulate Your Windows and Doors

Many families lose valuable heat through poorly insulated doors and windows, which is like throwing your hard-earned cash in the trash. Save money this year by taking a couple of preventive measures:

  1. Check windows and doors for signs of cracked caulk. If caulking is in poor shape, buy a caulk gun at your local home improvement store. Remove old caulk with a screwdriver, reapply, and let dry
  2. To insulate windows further, try the old bubble wrap and duct tape standby to keep heat inside. If you’re expecting guests, simply take it down and reapply it later.
  3. Invest in weather-stripping. This hearty heat saver is available at any home improvement store. Ask an associate for help based on your door size.
  4. Get a doorstopper. These add heat loss protection – and as an added bonus, come in a variety of adorable creatures, from cats to reindeer.

Your home also loses heat through the floors, so cover up hardwoods with large area rugs.


Care for Your Patio

Winter brings more precipitation, whether that’s rain, ice, or snow. No matter what kind we get this year, it can and will damage unprotected patios and the furniture that sits on them. A quick seal for masonry surfaces, and a quick trip to the attic to store furniture will do it. Drain hoses and store them for the winter to prevent freezing, weakening and cracking. For those of you who have fireplaces, don’t forget to protect your store of firewood with a painter’s tarp, so it will remain dry enough to burn.


Get a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat is a money-saving investment. Set it to become cool when you leave the house for work and begin warming again about an hour before you are scheduled to come home – you’ll be greeted with toasty warmth, all at a cost savings. To make the most of your investment, don’t set it much lower than 65 degrees – your furnace will have to work overtime to heat your house up again. Newer models even allow you to control your home climate from your smartphone.


Ward off Mud

Additional precipitation means mud and mucky shoes – keep it all outside. A bristly, large welcome mat helps scrape off extra dirt particles before guests enter the house. Add a laminate cube or rubber boot tray in your entry to keep your family from tracking salty mud onto your floors, which has a corrosive effect on hardwoods.


Get Some Heat Tape

On the rare occasion that the temperature dips below freezing, heat tape is a great tool to have on hand.  It can keep ice from accumulating on your pipes and in your gutters. It can also be used to keep landscaping from freezing – if used in conjunction with a heat trapping tarpaulin. Stock up on the stuff from your local home improvement store – it comes in both 60- and 100-foot sections. Just remember, you will need access to an electrical outlet for it to work.


Still have questions about winterization?  Don’t hesitate to reach out to the folks at Abry Brothers.  We’ve seen more than 175 New Orleans winters and we’re happy to help you make some of these decisions!