Skip to main content

Easy Ways to Winterize Your Home with Brian Kelsey

winterize your home
Before the holidays officially close, make sure you’re being good to your home as well.

The short week is a great time to take inventory around the house and see what needs updating, patching or any sort of fix.

Related Videos

As a current licensed contractor and former HGTV host, Brian Kelsey has spent years renovating homes and seeing every kind of home repair out there. We spoke with him about a variety of ways you can get your home ready for more cold weather – from the easiest fixes to more involved renovations.

  • Check your doors and windows: “This is the single easiest thing you can do,” he says. “Start with your main entry door – the one that you use every day.” Feel around the edges for any air leaks or cracks. The easiest fix is to buy an inexpensive door sweep that seals the bottom opening. For windows, Kelsey advises plastic sealing that can you can easily apply with a hair dryer. “It’s not the prettiest solution, but it’s effective,” he adds.
  • Don’t forget about basements and foundations: As the weather changes, gaps and cracks can form in the concrete in your home’s basement form or foundation. If possible, inspect the foundation for holes and any other openings where animals and/or air can get in. “Use a foam seal for any manageable cracks or openings,” he advises.
  • The weather is especially harsh on roofs: The constant shift in temperature and water spells trouble for your home’s covering. “Shingle edges can suffer, making it easier for water to seep in,” Kelsey says. He doesn’t advise getting on your roof, but adds that it’s a good investment to have a professional come and inspect it. “It’s a silent sort of thing that if not maintained can wreak havoc on your home,” he says.
  • Hire a chimney sweep or furnace technician: “Have your system cleaned at least once a year,” he says. In his home, Kelsey leaves his fireplace vent open overnight to let all of the smoke out, which reduces the risk of soot buildup in the chimney. He likes to do his chimney service in the summer, when appointments are much easier to schedule. He stresses that in any case, carbon monoxide detectors are essential, “It’s a smart buy – they’re cheap and easy to install.”
nest thermostat
  • Get a smart thermostat such as Nest ($249). This intelligent thermostat is smart enough to learn your habits and create a heating schedule tailored to your life. Guaranteed to reduce your energy consumption (and make your home a fortress against winter weather), Nest is a relatively inexpensive and supremely easy way to make sure your home stays cozy and cost-effective this season.

You can learn more about winterizing and get more of Kelsey’s tips here.

Editors' Recommendations

How To Achieve a Maximalist Style in Your Own Home
Living room with high ceilings and architectural features.

Our home is where our heart is. It is more than a structure composed of several rooms. It is a sanctuary that reflects our individuality and story. A well-designed interior not only improves our mood, but it also bolsters productivity and enhances room functionality.

They say design trends come and go. Looking back at the last decade of pared-down design, it’s clear we were due for a revival of 1980’s opulence in our lives. Maximalism is the Millennial’s answer to simple styles such as Scandinavian and minimalism. If you love “stuff” or want a more personal or over-the-top approach to interior design, this is the style for you.

Read more
6 Ways to Cool Down Your Home Without Air Conditioning

Looking to beat the heat this summer without using an air conditioner? Well, then lucky for you because we've made a roundup of some fantastic cooling options designed to be as easy on the environment as they will be on your electric bill.

From hacks for purifying the air around you to ones ideal for quelling your own internal boiling point, these picks are sure to cool you down and keep you feeling breezy all season long!
Aroma Diffuser

Read more
How to Cultivate Industrial Style in Your Own Home

Urban Industrial design is unique in comparison to other home styles. Instead of manifesting from an architectural movement, this gritty look came from a lifestyle choice of artists and musicians. Forgoing traditional housing for makeshift live-work spaces inside of abandoned warehouses and factories, artists created this thrown-together look of street finds, thrift store purchases, and pieces made out of whatever happened to be laying around.

In the last decade, industrial has gone from a style of necessity to a trendy, cultivated look that meshes disparate styles inside of brick-walled lofts.
Principles of Urban Industrial Design

Read more