There are so many reasons why winterizing your house is an important annual maintenance task. Not only do you cut the cost of heating your home, but damage in the winter can be harder to repair. More house fires are started in the winter as well, so make sure your smoke alarms have fresh batteries and are tested regularly. Fire extinguishers should be somewhere easy to get to in an emergency and replaced every 10 years. If you have a fireplace or use a wood stove, make sure they are inspected and cleaned every year.
Keeping those heating bills down is a big incentive and there are several ways to insulate and prevent a drafty home. If you can afford it, install storm doors and windows. They are extremely energy efficient. If that is not feasible this winter, you can pick up a window insulation kit inexpensively and install the plastic yourself. This will buffer against drafts and keep the cold out. Caulking and weather stripping is another way to go to reduce air leaks around windows. For drafts under the door, you can buy a draft snake to lay at the bottom of the door or even a towel will do. Check the insulation in your attic and if it falls short of 12 inches in thickness, consider adding another layer.
Make sure to have a new furnace filter installed monthly and it is a very good idea to have an HVAC professional inspect the furnace for efficiency and safety.
The outside of the home will need to be protected as well. Clean the gutters and any other debris from the rooftop. Gutter guards are typically a good investment if you live on a wooded property. Trim tree limbs that hang over the house or driveway since they will become heavier with ice and snow and could cause damage to you property in the winter.
Taking these precautions and getting ready for the upcoming winter will make this cold season more enjoyable and safer for you and your family.