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Top 7 Ways to Weatherproof Your Michigan Home

June 27th, 2024 | 5 min read

By Aaron King

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Living in Michigan means dealing with hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. Specifically, your home’s exterior and interior deal with the ever-changing Michigan weather - protecting you and your family from the elements.

Because of this, if your home is not properly weatherproofed, you could face property damage, family discomfort, a diminished way of life, and increased energy bills.

Our team has seen it all, from homes that struggle to keep the heat in during winter to those that can't stay cool in summer. With decades of experience helping homeowners weatherproof their homes, we understand the unique challenges of Michigan's climate.

In this article, you'll learn the best ways to weatherproof your home in Michigan:

  1. Insulate Your Home
  2. Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Windows and Doors
  3. Seal Gaps and Cracks
  4. Install a Programmable Thermostat
  5. Maintain Your HVAC System
  6. Add Exterior Protection
  7. Improve Ventilation

1. Insulate Your Home

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Proper insulation is essential for keeping your home warm in winter and cool in summer. Furthermore, without adequate insulation, your energy bills will inevitably increase - not to mention you and your family will feel the temperature difference.

Here are the best places to insulate your home:

  • Wall Insulation: Insulate exterior walls to maintain a consistent indoor temperature. Without wall insulation, your home can lose heat in winter and gain heat in summer.
  • Attic Insulation: Ensure your attic is well-insulated to prevent heat loss in winter and keep your home cooler in summer. Insufficient attic insulation can lead to significant energy loss.
  • Floor Insulation: If you have a basement or crawl space, insulating your main level floor can help reduce heat loss and make your home more energy-efficient. Without it, you might experience cold floors and higher heating costs.

2. Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Windows and Doors

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Improperly weatherproofed windows and doors are major sources of energy loss. To combat this, upgrade to energy-efficient models to reduce your heating and cooling costs.

Here are a few energy-efficient window and door upgrades you can incorporate into your home:

  • Double or Triple Glazing: Install double or triple-glazed windows to improve insulation and reduce heat transfer. Without these, you may experience drafts and higher energy bills.
  • Weatherstripping: Apply weatherstripping around windows and doors to seal gaps and prevent drafts. Without it, cold air can seep in during winter, and cool air can escape in summer.
  • Storm Doors: Adding storm doors can provide an extra layer of insulation and protect your home from harsh weather. Without them, your doors are more exposed to the elements.

3. Seal Gaps and Cracks

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While seemingly insignificant in appearance, small gaps and cracks can let in cold air during winter and warm air during summer. Once this happens, your HVAC system works harder to counteract the temperature imbalance.

The result? Higher energy costs and ineffective climate control. This is why sealing gaps and cracks is important for weatherproofing your home.

Let’s explore some common gap and crack-sealing methods:

  • Door Sweeps: Install door sweeps to prevent drafts under exterior doors. Without door sweeps, cold air can enter your home.
  • Foam Sealant: For larger gaps, use foam sealant to ensure a tight seal. Without it, larger gaps can cause significant energy loss.
  • Caulking: Use caulk to seal gaps and cracks around windows, doors, and other openings. Without caulking, you can experience drafts and increased energy costs.

4. Install a Programmable Thermostat

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A programmable thermostat allows you to set temperatures based on your schedule, ensuring your home is comfortable while saving energy. From timed cooling and heating periods to mobile app-controlled settings, these thermostats are outfitted with the latest eco-friendly technology - bringing year-round comfort and energy savings to your home.

Here’s a more detailed review look into the benefits of programmable thermostats:

  • Remote Control: Choose a model that allows remote adjustments, giving you control from anywhere. Without this feature, you may not be able to optimize your energy use efficiently.
  • Energy Reports: Some thermostats provide energy usage reports to help you identify savings opportunities. Without these insights, you might miss chances to reduce your energy consumption.
  • Set Schedules: Program your thermostat to lower temperatures when you're away and increase them before you return. Without a programmable thermostat, you might heat or cool your home unnecessarily.

5. Maintain Your HVAC System

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Tucked away from a home’s street-facing features, HVAC system maintenance can be easily overlooked (If you can’t see it, it isn’t a problem, right?). Regular maintenance ensures your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system operates efficiently and extends its lifespan.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when maintaining your unit:

  • Annual Inspections: Schedule annual HVAC inspections to catch and fix issues early. Without inspections, minor problems can become costly repairs.
  • Duct Sealing: Ensure your ducts are sealed and insulated to prevent energy loss. Without duct sealing, heat or cooled air can escape, reducing system efficiency.
  • Filter Replacement: Replace filters to maintain airflow and efficiency. Your system can become less efficient and break down without regular filter changes.

6. Add Exterior Protection

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Your home’s exterior is the first line of defense against Michigan’s elements. Periodically bolstering its features can prevent expensive damage from harsh weather conditions. This is why upgrading your exterior is key for weatherproofing your home.

Here are a few common exterior features that’ll keep your home comfortable:

  • Siding: Invest in durable, weather-resistant siding to protect your home's exterior. Without it, your home is more vulnerable to weather damage.
  • Gutters: Ensure your gutters are clean and functioning to direct water away from your home. Without proper gutters, water can damage your foundation and roof.
  • Roofing: Maintain or upgrade your roof and consider weather-resistant materials to protect against heavy snow and ice. Without a well-maintained roof, you risk leaks and structural damage.

7. Improve Ventilation

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Proper ventilation helps manage moisture levels and air quality in your home. Allowing fresh air to circulate reduces the buildup of humidity, which can prevent mold and mildew.

Good ventilation also removes indoor pollutants and allergens, creating a healthier living environment. Additionally, it helps regulate temperatures, making your home more comfortable every day.

Let’s take a look at the most common ventilation options for your home:

  • Bathroom Fans: Use bathroom fans to expel moisture and prevent mold growth. Without fans, bathrooms can become humid and moldy.
  • Kitchen Vents: Ensure your kitchen has adequate ventilation to remove cooking odors and moisture. Without kitchen vents, your home can become stuffy and humid.
  • Attic Vents: Install attic vents to allow air circulation and reduce moisture buildup. Your attic can become damp without proper ventilation, leading to mold and rot.

Next Steps to Weatherproofing Your Michigan Home

Protecting your Michigan home from the elements is essential to maintaining its comfort and energy efficiency. Without proper weatherproofing, you could face high energy bills, damage to your property, and an uncomfortable living environment.

Following the tips outlined in this article, you’ve learned how to insulate your home, upgrade windows and doors, seal gaps, install a programmable thermostat, maintain your HVAC system, add exterior protection, and improve ventilation. These steps will help you weatherproof your home effectively.

With extensive experience in helping Michigan homeowners weatherproof their properties, we understand the unique challenges the local climate poses. Our team has guided many homeowners through the process, ensuring their homes are well-protected and energy-efficient.

Ready to weatherproof your home? Contact our team of experts today for a consultation and start protecting your home against Michigan's unpredictable weather. 

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Now that you know more about the top ways to weatherproof your Michigan home, let’s take a look at how to insulate your windows in cold weather, common roofing materials, and popular exterior improvement projects:

Aaron King

Aaron has been in the building industry his entire life. He worked in his family’s housing business growing up in Dewitt, MI, and for nearly 40 years, built homes in the Mid-Michigan area. He has also worked with the Greater Lansing Home Builder’s Association since he was 18 years old.