Home Tips For Fall: Winter Weather Is Coming

Welcome To October, Everyone!

If you're anything like us, you're excited for the changing weather, the cooler temperatures, the changing of the leaves, and of course everything pumpkin spice! But there's one topic that most folks simply don't think about until it's too late: getting their home winter weather ready.

What Does "Winter Weather Ready" Mean?

If you've been renting for a while, or if this is your first winter in your new home, there's a good chance you're not sure how to make sure your home is ready for the impending weather and temperature changes. Don't worry, though! These few pointers will help get you started off right. It's important to remember, though, that this list is absolutely not exhaustive, as your home might have additional needs, depending on what you have. Let's get started, shall we? First we'll look at a couple of exterior needs.

Oh The Weather Outside Is Frightful... At Least It's Going To Be...

... so take care of these few tasks before Old Man Winter comes knocking.


If you have any trees around, especially ones that surround your home or extend over it, you'll want to check all gutters after they shed their autumnal glory to make sure no leaves have built up and blocked the flow of water. These blockages, paired with snow or ice and freezing temperatures, can cause what's known as "ice dams" (snow melts, collects in the blockages, then re-freezes overnight) and can cause major damage to edges of your roof and/or your gutters. While there are many tools on the market, this can usually be done pretty easily with a simple step ladder (be careful) and gloves. Many local landscaping companies also offer this service at a very affordable rate, if you're not comfortable with the idea of being on a ladder or your roof.

 skhoward / Getty Images

Outdoor Faucets

When winter comes, it's easy to forget about garden hoses being still attached to the outdoor faucets (or spigots, as some call them). This might seem harmless, but trapped water within the hose or faucet can freeze and cause leaks far beyond what most people realize. If left exposed, outdoor faucets can freeze, expanding within the pipes and causing cracks in exterior wall plumbing. This, in turn, can create quite the headache by way of water damage inside your walls and home. Another great solution is to purchase a simple foam faucet cover like this one from your favorite local home improvement store or online retailer. For less than $2, you can prevent potentially thousands of dollars of damage to your home.
BONUS: Don't forget to drain all hoses before putting them away for the winter. This will prevent ice from expanding within the hose and causing cracks or other damage to the hose itself. If possible, store the hose inside your garage or another insulated building.


Another great thing to keep in mind are your outdoor plants. Whether you've got a few small shrubs and flowering plants, or if you've gone to lengthy measures to beautify your landscaping, make sure and cover any plants that might be more sensitive to the cold. If you're unsure what plants need extra care, try reaching out to a local nursery or landscaper; they might be able to come by and educate you.

... But The Fire Is So Delightful (As Long As The Gas Works).

Moving to some indoor tips, it's important to remember that as your home sits through the summer months, things that sit dormant (like your gas log fireplace or furnace) need to be cared for properly before reigniting them for seasonal use. In most situations, this is extremely easy and doesn't require much work at all.

Photo by Ani Kolleshi on Unsplash


If you have a gas log fireplace, it's important to check all valves and switches to make sure they're working correctly. After all, the last thing you want is to be cozily nestled up on the couch and have the flame go out unexpectedly (or worse, turn on unexpectedly). Typically your user manual will have a start-up sequence that shows you exactly how to check each part of the system and get running quickly. If you're like most of us, that manual is tucked away someplace safe "so you don't lose it"... and now you can't find it. Don't worry! Most companies now have manuals uploaded to their websites or forums in downloadable PDF format.
If you've got an actual wood log fireplace, it's important to make sure your flue is open and that there's no buildup of soot. The National Fire Protection Agency recommends having all chimneys, fireplaces, and vents inspected yearly to ensure everything is clean and ready for (safe) fires.


This one's pretty easy: make sure to change your filter monthly. Granted, you should be doing this every month to ensure proper airflow, whether your furnace, air conditioner, or even just circulation with the blower fan. It's especially important during the winter, though, due to the additional heat that could be caused by reduced airflow. It's also important, just like with fireplaces and air conditioners, to have your furnace checked yearly, prior to colder temperatures moving in. Most HVAC companies will do an annual furnace tune-up very affordably; we've seen local prices to be as low as $49.99 and ranging upwards of $79.99, depending on the company. (Bonus: do your research and make sure you find a reputable company that's honest and dependable; while you do get what you pay for, 

Photo by Octav Cado on Unsplash

Ceiling Fans

Here's one that a lot of people (and we mean a lot of people) don't know will help reduce heating bills in the winter: reverse the direction of your ceiling fans. The best part: it's as easy as flipping a switch, literally. If you've ever looked closely at your ceiling fans (again, most probably haven't because... well... why would you need to? But if you have...), you've probably noticed a tiny switch on the side of the housing. It might be vertically mounted, or it might be horizontally mounted; regardless, one way causes the fan to push air down while the other pulls air up. For winter, you want the fan to be pulling air up. If you need a bit of help figuring out which is which, the "front" of the blade, when spinning, should be the edge that's angled down, while the back of the blade is the slightly elevated edge. This causes air to be scooped up and pushed upward, circulating the warm air near the ceiling around and into the rest of the room. This one change alone can help save several dollars off your heating costs each month during the colder season.


Perhaps one of the biggest (and possibly easiest) factors in conserving energy and being more winter weather ready is by adjusting the thermostat. It's been estimated that most homeowners spend roughly 60% of their energy costs on heating and cooling the home. One great way to reduce costs during winter and improve efficiency is by bumping the thermostat down a degree or two (or more) when possible. In most cases, a homeowner will save between 1-3% of their heating bill for every single degree lower on the thermostat. Some homeowners might choose to opt for a programmable thermostat, making cost saving efforts even easier; smart thermostats are also becoming a highly-popular option, enabling homeowners to leverage technology and reduce costs even more. Of course, in any circumstance, it's best to check with your local HVAC professionals before making any modifications to your existing heating or cooling systems; in some very specific cases, certain city ordinances might require (or incentivize) using certain thermostat technologies.

The Wrap Up

The examples above are just a small portion of ideas that can be utilized to improve home efficiency during winter months and help get your home winter weather ready. There are a broad variety of options, including additional weatherstripping, improved pipe or duct insulating, reducing water heater temperatures, and more.

Of course... a great place to start is by purchasing a home that already meets or exceeds efficiency codes in your region. Did you know that houses by Rausch Coleman Homes not only meet or exceed national homebuilder codes and regulations, but also meets or exceeds state and local ordinances as well? It's true! Each home we build goes through the same rigorous quality checks that the big dollar homes do prior to being cleared for occupancy by local officials. If you have any questions regarding our standards or practices, give us a call! We'd love to share more details about our builds with you. If you're not sure how much home you can afford, you can always click the button below to Find Your Buying Power as well. It's quick, easy, and there's no credit check required to use this easy tool before going through the entire credit approval process.

So... what are some of YOUR best tips to making your home winter weather ready? Leave them in the comments section below!