The early arrival of cold weather makes this the perfect time to prepare your house for the long winter ahead, and to tackle those indoor home improvement projects you’ve been putting off while the weather was warm.

Cold Weather Home Preparation

A little home maintenance now can help keep your house warmer this winter, lower your heating bills, and prevent costly repairs from frozen pipes.

Steps to prepare your home for winter:

  1. Caulk any cracks on the outside of your house.
  2. Fill larger holes expanding foam in spray cans.
  3. Replace worn weatherstripping around windows and doors.
  4. Insulate around and above attic stairs or access covers.
  5. Apply foam gaskets to electrical outlet and switch covers.
  6. Add attic insulation, if needed, so you have 12” to 16” of insulation.
  7. Cover single pane windows with plastic window insulation kits.

Winter Furnace Tune-Up

To get the most out of your heating system, it’s important to make sure your furnace and blower are in good condition and working efficiently.

Steps for heating system maintenance:

  1. Install a new, programmable thermostat, such as the Carrier Infinity Touch, and set it to lower the temperature when you’re asleep or away from home to save energy.
  2. Have your heating system inspected and serviced by an HVAC professional, such as those from Carrier, to make sure your furnace and blower are working properly.
  3. If your heating system is over 12 years old, consider replacing it with a new, more energy-efficient system for more efficient operation and to reduce your energy bills.
  4. Replace your furnace filter regularly (every 1-3 months) with a quality filter to improve your indoor air quality and allow your heater to run more efficiently. For even better indoor air quality, consider installing a whole-house air filtration system, such as the Infinity Air Purifier from Carrier, which cleans the air and captures and kills airborne organisms, including bacteria, viruses, and mold.

Home Storage Solutions

This is also a great time of year to organize your garage and closets and improve storage in your home.

Versa Lift motorized lift in attic.
Versa Lift motorized lift.

Start by organizing any unused items into those you want to keep and those you no longer need. Next, go through the unwanted items and divide them into those that are in good enough condition to donate to charity, items that can be recycled, and finally those that need to be trashed.

To make easy and safe work of storing items in your attic, install a Versa Lift electric storage lift in the ceiling of your garage. The Versa Lift is available in a standard model with a 15-cubic-foot capacity that can lift up to 200 pounds and a larger version that holds up to 35 cubic feet and can lift up to 250 pounds.

To make going up and down your attic stairs safer, install a Versa-Rail attic ladder safety railing. The railing is easy to install and can be adjusted to fit different attic stair openings.

Tools for DIY Projects

While you don’t need to spend a fortune on tools to tackle most common DIY projects around your house, all homeowners need to have the basics, including:

BLACK+DECKER AutoSense Drill.
BLACK+DECKER AutoSense Drill.
  • Tape measure
  • Utility knife
  • Hammer
  • Pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Square
  • Level
  • Saw
  • Cordless drill/driver

A good cordless drill/driver comes in handy on almost every DIY home improvement project around your house, from installing shelving to replacing cabinet hardware.

The BLACK+DECKER 20-Volt MAX Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill with AutoSense™ Technology makes drilling holes and driving screws a snap.

Rather than using a mechanical clutch, the AutoSense drill has a built-in microprocessor that constantly monitors torque when in drive mode to automatically stop screws flush with the surface.

Today’s Homeowner Tips

Another great DIY tool option is the Black+Decker Matrix drill/driver which has six optional accessory tools that can be quickly swapped out. The Matrix is available in both 12-volt and 20-volt cordless models.

Editorial Contributors
avatar for Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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