skip to Main Content
snowy neighborhood

Protect Your House: 4 Cold Weather Tips for Homes

Winter brings snow-covered beauty and cozy nights, but it also poses significant challenges to your house. 

These cold weather tips for homes will help you fortify your house against weather damage.

You’ll learn how to insulate your home for winter, prevent pipes from freezing, maintain efficient heating, and protect against ice dams.

These measures offer more than comfort. 

They help guarantee the safety and longevity of your home during colder months.

1. How to Insulate Homes for Winter

how to insulate home for winter

Proper insulation is the foundation of a warm, energy-efficient home during winter. 

It acts as a barrier to heat flow, keeping your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. 

Understanding how to insulate your home for winter is crucial in creating a comfortable living space that also helps to reduce heating costs.

Types of Insulation

Selecting the right type of insulation for your home is critical in maximizing warmth and energy efficiency. 

Each type offers unique benefits and is suited for different areas of your home. 

These are the most effective insulation types and their ideal applications:

  • Fiberglass

One of the most common types, fiberglass insulation is versatile and can be used in various parts of your home, including walls and attics. 

It’s made from fine glass fibers and is available in batts or rolls for easy installation.

  • Spray Foam

Spray foam is ideal for sealing leaks and gaps in the attic, walls, and around windows and doors. 

Spray foam expands to fill spaces, creating an effective barrier against cold air.

  • Rigid Foam Boards

This method is excellent for insulating basements and exterior walls. 

Rigid foam boards can be cut to fit various spaces, offering a high insulation value for thin layers.

  • Reflective Insulation

This type is best for attics in hot climates, but it’s also beneficial in cold climates because it reflects heat back into the home. 

It’s usually made of aluminum foil-faced material.

While DIY options are available for some insulation types, others, particularly spray foam insulation, require professional installation. 

When installation involves chemical reactions, it should be handled by professionals to guarantee safety and effectiveness. 

Key Home Areas to Insulate

By focusing on key areas to insulate, you’ll prevent heat loss and maintain a comfortable indoor environment throughout the colder months.

  • Attic

Heat rises, and it can escape without proper insulation in the attic, leading to significant heat loss.

 Insulating the attic floor will help keep the warmth in your living spaces.

  • Walls

Insulating both exterior and interior walls is essential to create a barrier against cold weather. 

It’s especially important in older homes that may not have been originally equipped with modern insulation.

  • Windows

While not as obvious as attics or walls, windows can be a significant source of heat loss. 

Use insulating window films or install insulated window treatments to help retain heat.

Remember, each type of insulation and application area contributes to your home’s overall warmth and efficiency. 

It’s crucial to take a comprehensive approach when considering how to insulate your home for winter.

What does weather stripping do?


Weather stripping is a simple yet effective method to seal gaps around doors and windows—common areas for heat loss. 

By applying weather stripping, you create a tight seal that blocks cold air from entering and warm air from escaping. 

It makes your home more comfortable and contributes to energy savings by reducing the need for heating.

The effectiveness of insulation can be greatly enhanced by weather stripping the smaller areas where heat can escape.

2. How to Keep Pipes from Freezing

how to keep pipes from freezing

Understanding how to keep pipes from freezing is crucial for homeowners looking to protect their properties. 

By employing effective strategies for insulation and heating, you can safeguard your water pipes against freezing temperatures.

1. Insulate Pipes

Use foam pipe insulation sleeves for pipes located in unheated areas. 

This insulation acts as a protective layer, keeping the pipes warmer and reducing the risk of freezing.

2. Apply Heating Tape

Consider using electric heating tape for pipes at a high risk of freezing. 

This tape provides direct warmth to the pipe and can be controlled with a thermostat.

3. Keep Cabinet Doors Open

Allow warmer air to circulate around plumbing by keeping cabinet doors open under sinks, especially those against exterior walls.

4. Maintain a Consistent Temperature

Keep your home’s temperature consistently warm, day and night, to prevent the interior walls—and the pipes within them—from dropping to freezing levels.

At what temperature do pipes freeze?

Water has a freezing point of 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius). Your pipes are at risk anytime the temperature drops that low.

However, the risk is even greater when the outside temperature falls to 20 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

The risk is worse if the pipes are poorly insulated or located in unheated areas of a home, such as basements, attics, and garages.

Will pipes freeze in a house without heat?

In a house without heat, the risk of pipes freezing increases, particularly during prolonged cold spells. 

Pipes located in exterior walls or unheated spaces are most vulnerable. 

These pipes can quickly reach freezing temperatures without the warmth that normally circulates through a home.

When that happens, ice can form within the pipes, which may cause them to burst due to expanding ice.

Quick Fixes for Thawing Frozen Pipes Safely

how to keep pipes from freezing 

If you discover a frozen pipe, act quickly to thaw it before any damage occurs:

  • Turn on the Faucet

Open the faucet connected to the frozen pipe to allow water to flow, which will help melt ice within the pipe.

  • Apply Gentle Heat

Use a hairdryer, heat lamp, or portable heater to apply gentle heat to the frozen section of the pipe. 

Never use open flames, which can damage the pipes or cause a fire.

  • Increase Home Temperature

Raising the overall temperature in your home can help thaw frozen pipes within walls.

3. Efficient Heating for Your House in Winter

prep house for winter, prepare home for winter

With rising energy costs, efficient heating strategies are about comfort and sustainability. 

You want to keep your home warm without exorbitant heating bills or wasting energy. 

What’s a Good Heat Temp for the House in Winter?

Finding the right balance between comfort and energy efficiency can be a challenge.

According to, you should set your thermostat to between 68 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit while awake and set it lower while asleep or away from home. 

Lowering the temperature by 7-10 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 hours a day, such as during work hours or at night, can save up to 10% a year on heating.

What are some tips for reducing heating costs in winter?

Reducing heating costs in winter is possible with some practical and effective strategies:

  • Furnace Maintenance

Schedule an annual inspection and maintenance of your heating system to make sure it’s in optimal working condition. 

  • Smart Thermostats

Consider installing a smart thermostat that can automatically adjust the temperature based on your schedule and preferences. 

  • Seal Drafts

Eliminate drafts by sealing gaps and leaks around windows, doors, and any other areas where cold air might enter. 

  • Use Ceiling Fans

Switch your ceiling fan to run clockwise at a low speed to circulate warm air that rises to the ceiling back down into the room.

  • Wear Warm Clothing

Layering up with warm clothing and using blankets can reduce the need to set the thermostat higher than necessary.

  • Use Sunlight

Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow natural sunlight to heat your home, and close them at night to retain the warmth.

4. Protecting Against Ice Dams on Roof

ice dams on roof, roof ice dam

Roof ice dams are some of the most damaging challenges winter brings.

Ice dams occur when snow on the roof melts, runs down to the edge of the roof, and then refreezes before it can drain off. 

This happens because the upper areas of the roof remain above 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius), typically due to inadequate attic insulation and ventilation, causing snow to melt. 

When the water reaches the colder eaves, it refreezes, forming a dam that prevents melting snow from draining. 

The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home, causing damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas.

Here are some ways you can prevent ice dams on roofs:

  • Improve Attic Insulation and Ventilation

Enhancing insulation and ventilation in the attic keeps the temperature uniform across the roof, preventing the melting and refreezing cycle that leads to ice dams.

  • Install Heated Cables

Before the winter season, install heated cables along the edges of your roof. 

These cables create channels for the melting snow and ice to drain off, preventing the formation of ice dams.

  • Seal Attic Air Leaks

Warm air escaping from the living space to the attic contributes to the uneven roof temperatures. 

Sealing gaps and leaks can help maintain consistent temperatures.

Addressing Roof Snow Damage

roof snow damage

Heavy snowfall contributes to the formation of ice dams and can pose significant risks to your roof.

Here’s how homeowners can safely remove snow from their roofs and prevent damage:

  • Use a Roof Rake

A roof rake with a long handle lets you safely remove snow from the ground without climbing onto the roof. 

Start from the edge and carefully pull snow down off the roof to prevent accumulation.

  • Hire Professionals

For steep roofs or significant snow accumulation, it’s safer to hire professionals who have the equipment and experience to remove the snow without damaging the roof.

  • Regular Inspections

After heavy snowfall, visually inspect your roof for signs of stress or sagging. 

If you notice any issues, consult a professional for a thorough inspection and possible reinforcement.

By proactively addressing the risk of ice dams and roof snow damage, homeowners can protect their property from the costly consequences of winter weather. 

Preventing & Recovering From Weather Damage

Preparation and proactive measures are key to keeping your home safe, warm, and damage-free during the cold months. 

The ways to protect from cold climates we covered also contribute to a more energy-efficient and comfortable living environment.

But even with the best preparations, winter can sometimes leave its mark on our homes, requiring professional attention for restoration and repairs. 

If winter has left you with concerns about your house, talk to an expert at Strong Wall Construction. 

We’re here to help you with a seamless process designed to relieve stress and restore your home.

Back To Top