A Self-Sufficient Guide to Winterizing Your Home
How the prepper prepares for winter
As the colder months are quickly approaching, it is time to start getting prepared for the cold season. Winterizing your home is a common step in ensuring that you are safe and warm. Yet, is there a way in which you can do so without the use of a ton of commercialized products and chemicals? The answer is yes. Here are a few ways in which the prepper can winterize their home.
Plant Evergreens close to the home
If you want to block the wind to your home as well as create a nice cover as a secondary purpose, consider using evergreens close to the home. These trees can stop up to 30% or more of the wind you will get in winter. Additionally, the trees can be used as a privacy fence to keep prying eyes away from your prepping. You should note that if you are Urban prepping that there may be restrictions on what types of trees or how close to the property lines you can plant trees. Check with your HOA (if you are in one) as well as your local building and zoning regulations before you start planting.
Turn your metal garage into a solar heater
This is a bit expensive but can provide the house with a great deal of warmth. You will need to put solar panels on the garage as well as make containers for the inside of the garage. As metal is a conductor of heat, you will be able to use that to your advantage during the winter months. You may have to purchase specialty equipment if you wish to have heated water and such from the solar panels. If you want to make a section of your garage or metal barn into a heated area you can:
Wrap the area in dark plastic (such as that found in black trash bags)
Ensure that the room is air tight and that any entranceways do not allow for air leaks when closed
Any water containers are of a darker color to hold in the heat
Sew black curtains for your windows
Black Curtains will be useful in two ways. First, your curtains will attract heat as dark colors trap more heat than light colors (this is why you are told to wear light colors in the summer). The dark curtains will also keep the sunlight and warmth that you already have in your residence from escaping. Of course, this is only effective if you keep the curtains closed the majority of the time.
Place straw around your house foundation
Pine straw is one of the best ways in which you can winterize the foundation of your house. Generally you can find this for free and in abundance in the wooded areas. However, if you do not have pine, use another form of hay. The key is to keep the hay thick and that you change it out periodically. You do not want to get hay mold or insects in the hay as this is a bit counterproductive to staying safe and healthy.
Cover your water heater
PLEASE do this properly to avoid a fire. You can use a weather blanket and other coverings to cover your water heater. If you do not know what you are doing watch a video or get professional help in winterizing this part of your house. As you are working with water and electrical elements it is advised that you do not put anything too flammable upon it. However, if you wrap your water heater properly, the heat will keep your water warmer longer as it will not escape through the metal.
Use a solar powered fan to distribute the warmth
Just because it is cold does not mean that you will not have any sunlight. You can use the same method that you used to make your solar fan air conditioner to make your winter fan (just exclude the ice in the bucket). By making a solar powered fan to distribute the heat you eliminate the need to use multiple heaters throughout the house. Of course a bit of common sense is required, don’t freeze to death trying to save on your heating costs.
Make a ton of soup
As a prepper you have a ton of food and water. Put some of the food which is expired or close to the expiration date to use and make some food. While you may not think that this is too much of a winterization technique, for a prepper it is. Your food supply needs to get you through the winter, using the food that is about to go bad in soups allows you more space for new products. Plus, you stay warm and full in the process.
Seal the bottom of doors
The main way in which a house gets cool during the winter is through cracks under the door. You can fill a sock or make a door stopper easily to stop the draft of air leaving your house. The main factor is to ensure that the stopper covers the entire width of the base of the door. Again, you can use hay or straw as a fill material. If you use natural fill you will need to change it out periodically as the winter air has moisture.
Use ginger/cayenne in your socks
If you want to get your bug out bag a bit winterized you can add some ginger or cayenne to your socks. The herbs will absorb through your feet into the skin and help you to keep warm if you have to bug out. Keep in mind that you do not want to get this stuff in your eyes or on your fingers. If using ginger or cayenne in your socks put the socks in a dedicated pocket of your bug out bag to ensure that you do not get any accidental pepper on other clothing.