18 Tips for winterizing your home the cape house

Even though winter isn’t technically happening for several more weeks, it’s a smart move to start thinking about your winterizing needs and working on them right now. By the time the first cold snap hits, everyone is going to realize that they need to get moving on the winterizing, and that’s not a good time to book appointments to replace insulation or manage any repairs that might be needed.

Your roof gets a lot of battering from Mother Nature, whether that’s in the form of precipitation, intense sunlight, or a mixture of both. And fixing any issues with your roof (or replacing it entirely) are much, much easier and cheaper to do in the summertime than in the wintertime, when you’ll be battling the elements to get the job done.

Instead, get your roof inspected as soon as possible, and ask the roofing expert for specific suggestions about what needs to be done (if anything) before winter hits.


It’s always a good idea to choose an inspector you trust, so talk to your neighbors and your real estate agent to get referrals for a good roof inspector. Check windows, doors, and vents for air leaks

Replacing doors and windows especially can be pretty expensive. If you’ve got an older house with a lot of drafty windows, hanging plastic sheeting over those windows can seal them up and prevent leaks without sacrificing any sunlight in the process. You can buy kits to plastic-seal your windows at home improvement and hardware stores. Caulk and weatherstrip

You know better than anyone else what kinds of plants are in your garden and what you need to do to prepare them. Some might need to be potted up and brought inside, while some might be perfectly happy spending the winter under a thick blanket of snow. Whatever the case, do a little bit of research around what the plants in your garden prefer, and then treat them accordingly. Prep your pipes

Inside the house, the pipes most at risk are ones that run along exterior walls where there is little or no insulation. You can insulate individual pipes or add more insulation to the walls; another solution is to let any faucets connected to these pipes run at a very slow drip, which can help prevent freezing. And check all your faucets, inside and outside, throughout the winter (weekly is a good rule of thumb) to make sure they’re running. Change your furnace filters

If you use a window air conditioning unit, you’ll definitely want to put it away before winter arrives in force. They’re lovely for cooling your house down, but they let in an awful lot of outside air when you aren’t using them. Unplug the unit, drain it (there will be water inside it), and stash it in a storage space until you’re ready to re-install it next spring. Reverse your ceiling fans

You may have learned in science class that hot air rises. And you can take advantage of that fact in the wintertime by reversing your ceiling fans, if you have them, so that they spin the opposite direction. This will push the warm air close to your ceiling down, where you can actually feel it and enjoy it, instead of keeping it up against the ceiling and away from you, which is better during summer months. Change your thermostat (and keep it there)

If you’re starting the winterizing process early enough, it might be a good idea to assess your current level of insulation and beef it up if you think it’s inadequate. Depending on when your house was built and what kind of insulation was used, this can make a big difference in how warm it stays during the winter; well-insulated houses won’t let warm air escape, keeping things nice and cozy inside. Insulate your pipes and/or your water heater

One way to increase your home’s efficiency and keep pipes from freezing is to insulate them. This can be a smart thing to do for pipes that travel along outside walls if your house isn’t well-insulated and the winters are very cold in your area. You can also get blanket insulation for your water heater that fits over the heater and will help keep the water hot for longer. If frozen pipes or lukewarm winter water are a challenge for you, insulation could be the solution. Add storm doors

A storm door provides a buffer from the cold outside in a couple of ways — first, by serving as an additional barrier between the front door and Mother Nature, and second, by allowing less warm air to escape when you enter or leave the house. These can be expensive, depending on your needs, but they are very effective at eliminating drafts and air seepage from your home’s main entry. Check your toolbox

Before you settle in to enjoy winter, check to make sure you have everything you’ll need when it arrives. Is your snow shovel in good shape? How about snow brushes or ice scrapers for your cars? Are there gloves, hats, and scarves easily accessible so you can grab them before you go? What else might you need to deal with the weather ahead?

Mother. Singer. Runner. Dog Parent. Realtor. Speaker. Cape Cod Local Expert. When I want the freshest oysters, I don’t go to the fish counter at the grocery store; I go to John, the East Dennis oyster guy. When my husband wants a perfectly tailored suit, we don’t go to the mall; we go to Puritan Clothing in Hyannis. When I want the best chocolate this side of the Alps I don’t go to the candy store, I go to The Hot Chocolate Sparrow in Orleans. A Cape Codder since I was a kid, I can find you the right house, bank, builder, school, auto mechanic, and yes, even the right oyster guy.