How to Winterize your Home for A Cozier Winter

Abigail Sawyer | 21 Dec 2012 | Energy Saving

Winter has arrived in full force, and in order to keep things cozy and warm it’s important to insulate your home against piercing drafts. These simple steps will help you winterize your home so your family will stay comfortable and your heating bill will cost you a lot less each month.

Did You Know? – Properly winterizing your windows can save up to 15% on your energy bill.

How to Winterize Your Home for a Cozier Winter

Make a Draft Snake to Snuggle Up Against Doors and Windows

A Draft Snakes are wintertime door and window insulation standbys that worked just as well for grandma as they do today. These tubes of fabric can be filled with dried beans, kitty litter, rice, cotton, dried corn, or anything that will help the fabric mold to the shape of your door or window jam.  Choose a heavy weigh fabric with a tight weave like denim, wool or upholstery fabric in a dark color that won’t show dirt and dust as easily.

patchwork draft snake

Here’s how to make a draft blocker snake:

  • Cut a piece of fabric that is 7″ tall and a length equal to that of your door or window. You can make a patchwork snake like above by sewing scraps of fabric together to the length of your door.
  • Fold the fabric in half to form a tube, wrong side of the fabric facing in.
  • Sew one end and the long side closed to create a tube. Sew approximately 1/2 inch away from the edge of the fabric.
  • Turn the tube inside out.
  • Fill with dried beans, or whatever you have on hand.
  • Sew the open end closed by hand with clear or coordinating thread.
  • Nestle your snake at the base of doors or windows to keep outside gusts out!

How to Insulate Windows


Take a huge step towards a more efficient and insulated home by caulking around cracks in window frames and baseboards. Check for cracks by moistening your hand with water and running it around drafty areas. An air leak will feel like air blowing through a straw on your hand. Another way to get the same effect is by holding a lit incense stick around frames and watching which way smoke blows. Use a clear paintable caulk on the interior window frame so you can cover it up later if needed. Repeat this process on the exterior of window frames. You can further insulate your window by applying rubber or foam weatherstripping around the edges of your window frame.

Learn How to Caulk and Weatherstrip Your Windows for Winter:

Insulating Window Coverings

Although weatherstripping and caulking can help keep out drafts, much of your home’s heat can be lost through the window panes themselves. We offer several energy efficient shades that will help keep heat in and stop your furnace from working quite so hard.

Cellular shades are known for giving your home increased insulation and efficiency. These fabric window shades are folded to create air pockets that form a barrier between your home and outside temperatures. The more cells a shade has, the better insulation it will be able to offer. The Triple Cell Shade gives you the best energy efficiency you can get from a honeycomb shade, while still letting natural light filter in to your home. Brand 3/8" Double Cell Blackout Shades Brand 3/8″ Double Cell Blackout Shades

Cellular Blackout Shades offer the same insulating properties as other honeycomb shades while giving you the versatility to completely block glares and keep out harmful UV rays. The window-side cells get their light blocking properties from Mylar lining that reflects sunlight and outside temperatures away from your home. This lining will help trap heat in and keep cold out  just like a Mylar emergency blanket.

Learn more about Insulating Window Treatments

Shop all Insulating Window Treatments

How to Winterize Your Home For A Cozier Winter

Other Tips to Help You Prepare Your Home for Winter:

  • Reverse the direction on your ceiling fans to bring warm air down.
  • Clean air filters regularly.
  • Clear all furniture and debris away from air vents.
  • Make sure air ducts are intact and seal any holes with metal-foil tape.
  • Close your flue when the fireplace is not in use.
  • Open window treatments on the south/west side of your home during the day to let in the sun’s warmth. Close your insulating shades at night to keep cold out.
  • Lock windows to create a tighter seal in between panels.

Are You a Winterizing Veteran? Share With Us!

Have you already battened down the hatches for winter? Share your insulating tips and tricks with those of us in warmer climes. Leave your words of wisdom in the comments or join the discussion on Facebook! While you’re there, why don’t you go ahead and like us? We promise we won’t disappoint!

  • About Author

    Abigail Sawyer is a Senior Social Media Specialist for She's a home improvement junkie who is currently restoring a 1972 cottage with the help of her husband and goldendoodle, Biscuit. Walking in the footsteps of Martha Stewart, she’s happiest when she’s crafting or whipping up a new recipe; although nothing beats curling up with a good book and some Girl Scout Cookies. Follow her on twitter + instagram at @whatabigailsaw