The handywoman’s quick prep guide for winterizing your home

Today we welcome a guest post from Tina for DIY Mother.

5 quick tips for proactive winter home maintenance

Attention handywomen of all sorts! November is here, and that means December follows and the cold, bitter cold is on the way!

Now as a woman, you know that it’s important to be proactive when it comes to protecting your home from the elements. That’s why you probably already have a checklist for winterizing your home while the temperatures are still rather temperate and bright. However, more and more women are buying homes for the first time on their own so this article is meant to make a handywoman out all female homeowners—even if you don’t have experience—by providing tips to help you plug leaks, protect your pipes, and save on energy costs this winter.

Here is a quick handywoman’s prep guide for winterizing your home:

1. Put your thermostat on a program

The easiest way to cut down the heating costs you’ll pay this winter—and to give your furnace a break is to program your thermostat. Think of it this way, why do you need to heat your home on high when you’re at work? The idea is to proactively extend the life of your furnace by giving it a much needed break during the day and in the middle of the night. By doing so, you’ll not only lower your heating bills; you’ll also lower the effort of your furnace from pumping out heat when it’s not needed. So start by programming your thermostat to a lower setting when you’re not at home (i.e., when you’re at work and when you’re sleeping) and program it higher when you need it (i.e., an hour before you go to bed and an hour before you wake up).

2. Prevent pipes from cracking and bursting

One of the most important winter home maintenance steps that you can take is to protect your exterior pipes from bursting. Damaged plumbing is a huge drain on the finances and you can easily prevent it just by shutting off exterior water sources and wrapping any pipes leading out of your home in rags or plastic to protect them from freezing and cracking.

3. Give your water heater some love

A broken water heater can be a nightmare in the dead of winter—especially considering it heats the water in your home and can create a damaging mess if it bursts all over your basement floor. To prevent a disaster, be sure to give your water heater the proper attention by checking the unit to ensure it’s working properly and not overheating. The last thing you want is a pricey water heater replacement bill on your hands.

4. Plug leaky windows and doors

In the cold winter months you want to keep as much warm air in and as much cold air out as possible—otherwise you’ll find your heating bills will soar. As a proactive measure, do a walk around the exterior of your home and re-caulk damaged or cracked areas around your window sills, door frames and electrical outlets leading outside. A few tubes of caulk and weather-stripping are really cheap when you consider the cost of how much it will save you in heating costs and heat retained inside your home.

5. Get a new furnace filter

Another cheap way to prevent your family from cranking the thermostat in the dead of winter is to ensure your furnace is running at prime efficiency. All you need to do is swap your old furnace filter for a clean, new one. Trust me; when you take the old one out and see all the dirt and grime, you’ll know why your furnace was working harder than it should be. A new filter will also protect your house and its occupants against the risk of a fire. Plus your home will use less energy to heat and stay warmer inside due to this inexpensive, proactive measure.

About The Author

Tina is a registered nurse and DIY home improvement maven who has written and blogger for DIY Mother as well as numerous print and online publications ranging in topics from education to health and from home renovations to interior decorating.

Thanks Tina for these helpful tips to prepare for the cold winter weather. Do you leave these chores for your husband or do them yourself?


Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))


Winter wreath

The front door wreath is dressed up whimsically for winter. I figured this wreath could take us from Christmas to Spring. This year so far, we’ve had mild weather with temperatures in the 60s.  Nothing like previous years where we got snow and ice dumped on us.

winter wreath

In 2010 we had a blizzard. With so much blowing snow, we couldn’t even see out of the windows.back

2011 gave us a damaging ice storm, and left hundreds of homes without power. The ice formations on trees and shrubs were so beautiful.

Recently Updated3

I know Winter isn’t over yet, and we could still get snow, ice and frigid weather but I’m yearning of Spring, pretty purple pansies,


pussy willows, tulips and Easter.


Come on Spring!


We’re painting ceilings now. I can’t wait to be done! ugh


Soon I’ll be moving to Word Press and Google friends connect will no longer be available to WP blogs. I hope you will follow me on twitter, facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and rss feed in a reader.

Thank you! I appreciate you coming by so much! 

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Debbie (((xx)))

Winter Wonderland

IMG_0796Living in PA, snow is no big deal. We deal with slushy snow, icy snow and snow 6 feet deep. The wind blows and drifts snow across country roads, but it’s beauty never ceases to amaze me.  IMG_0795 On Saturday afternoon big fluffy flakes tumbled to earth and blanketed everything in winter white.
IMG_0800The back yard looks like it’s wearing a winter coat.  IMG_0802
Snow on Holly is the ideal inspiration, it really puts me in the Christmas spirit.

I’ve about done all the decorating that I’m going to do, just a kitchen tree, and a few table top displays that I’ll be sharing soon. I still want to decorate the porch with fresh greens and bake some cookies. Bill brought a pretty red poinsettia home that brightens up the family room, I guess that’s all the decorating he’ll do!
With or without snow, I hope you’re enjoying this holiday season! Now,  I think I’ll make a nice big mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows.

~A stay inside kinda day~

KJ is having a giveAway over at eyedyllic, please mention me when you enter. It’s a gift certificate to Sur La Table website.

Today is a good day to just be inside & nest. The weather is horrible! We’ve got sleet & freezing rain right now with loads more nasty weather coming this way. Baking cookies is on my list today! Probably just chocolate chip, because that’s the kind my H likes best & maybe sugar cookies….. Homemade cookies are one of my favorite things about Christmas because I love sweets.

I spent yesterday helping my Dad with his errands so he’s all set for this nasty weather. Then I spent the afternoon with Mom. It was a good day for her. She had her hair done & was playing bingo. I’m so thankful that her caregivers at assisted living treat her so well. It really takes a great load off my mind. She didn’t know me at first, she never does anymore……

My H’s knee gets better each day & he is driving again. WHooppee! No more taxi service from me. The man has to drive even when I’m behind the wheel! Teling me which lane, when to go, stop, this way, that way, can anyone relate?

My computer is acting funny so I think I’ll try to see what’s up with that & work on some Christmas cards. It’s just that kind of day!

Some people mentioned that they can’t read my blog because of the pointsettia background. The background is supposed to be white, so I guess it’s not loading correctly….I’ll work on that too.
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