two story house in massachusetts in the winter covered in snow

What makes a home winter-ready? A well-insulated, energy efficient home makes all the difference during those bone-chilling winter nights. Your roofing, siding, windows, and doors stand guard against winter’s wrath with the most energy efficient tehcnologies and durable materials. When you are ready to make your home cozy for the season of brr, this checklist has everything that you need.

Table of Contents

Winter Window Replacement: Battle the Brr with Energy Efficient Windows

Does your home need new windows? Replacing your windows can help save you over $500 per year on your energy bills, according to the Department of Energy. Don’t forget thatDrafty windows account for up to 30% of your home’s energy loss.

Winter-ready windows checklist:

  • Energy-efficient gasses argon and krypton insulate the windows, preventing heat loss
  • Foam-filled vinyl frames to further prevent heat from escaping
  • Low-e application which allows the sunlight to naturally heat your home in the winter
  • Low air infiltration ratings, ensuring that the window creates an airtight seal.
  • Professional installation for top performance benefits.
  • Insulated weight pockets (most window contractors don’t do this)
  • Double or triple-paned glass containing an argon or krypton gas
  • Triple weather-stripping seals for top-efficiency performance
  • Click to read about the new Energy Star 7.0 requirements as of October 2023

Why are your windows losing energy?

  • Low quality: Windows that are crafted from inferior products will not properly insulate your home. This can include elements ranging from the glass package to the foam insulation (or lack thereof). 
  • Age: The best quality windows are designed to last for life. However, lower quality products may only last between 10-15 years.
  • Incorrect Installation:  Poor quality installation can result in air infiltration, drafty windows, and high energy bills. If you’re experiencing unwanted drafts and high energy bills in your home, the good news is that you don’t have to fight an endless battle with your thermostat.

A word on foggy windows in the winter 

foggy window with condensation in the winter

Window condensation is moisture that forms on glass window panes. In some circumstances, condensation is perfectly normal. It forms when warm air comes in contact with a cool pane of glass, much like a glass of lemonade on a hot summer day.

From there, moisture forms on the glass. Condensation that wipes away is not a cause for concern. It will go away on its own or when you wipe it away with your hand.

The troubling part about condensation is when it forms inside the glass. If the condensation does not wipe away, it’s a sign of seal failure. This means that your windows are no longer performing properly and need to be replaced.

Up on the House Top: Get Winter-Ready with a Reliable Roof 

Is it time to get your roof ready for winter? Curling, missing and buckled shingles are only several signs that you need a new roof. Below, you’ll find 10 additional signs that a new roof replacement is necessary.

Roof winter-ready checklist

  • Properly ventilated roof with gable vents, soffit vents, and ridge vents
  • No presence of mold, mildew, or condensation in the attic
  • The attic temperature is close to the outdoor temperature
  • Your walls and ceilings have no discoloration or staining
  • No standing water on the roof
  • No obvious roof damage
  • Shingles are in-tact without bucking or curling
  • No problems from ice dams during previous winters

Do you have a leaky roof?

roof leaking during the winter

A roof leak can do detrimental damage to the structure of your home. When your roof is leaking in the winter, you can also anticipate that energy is being lost as well. But what are the signs of a leaking roof?

Signs of a leaky roof in the winter include:

  • Soggy areas: Roof leaks can be quite damaging, so they may leave behind soggy areas on the roof deck and even inside the attic. 
  • Foul odor: When water penetrates your roof, it can create an unpleasant musty smell.
  • Standing water on your roof: Water that doesn’t run off your roof ends up pooling on the shingles.
  • Discoloration and staining: If water is leaking into your home, it can stain the ceiling and walls. 
  • Swelling and buckling: When water is penetrating into your roof decking, your roof might swell and buckle. 
  • Obvious roof damage: If the roof is visibly damaged, such as cracked shingles, a leak is a likely culprit.

Is your home at-risk for ice dams?

One of the realities of winter in New England is ice dams. Ice dams can also be incredibly damaging to your roof. Ensuring that the roof is properly ventilated is key to ice dam prevention, and here is what you need:

  • Gable vents, which are typically installed where two slopes of your roof form a triangle 
  • Soffit vents, which run along your soffit and protect against wind-driven rain from entering the attic 
  • Ridge vent, which guards against roof rot as well as ice damming

Ensure you get the ventilation you need with GAF roof installation. As Master Elite certified roofing contractors, our roof replacement can help balance indoor temperature while protecting you from ice dams, leaks, and more.

Prevent Energy Loss with Durable Siding 

green home in the winter while snowing showing off sidingsA home’s energy efficiency can be improved with insulated siding by reducing thermal bridging. The studs of your home allow heat to pass through them and represent up to 25% of the wall surface in the average house. Imagine an entire wall without any insulation!

About 35% of heat loss occurs through walls

By reducing thermal bridging, insulated siding acts as a blanket of continuous insulation that keeps homes cool in summer and warm in winter, enhancing energy efficiency. As vinyl siding contractors, we are certified installers with the Vinyl Siding Institute. Count on us for quality craftsmanship that’s second-to-none.

Winter-ready siding checklist

  • Siding is free from cracks, holes, or wood rot
  • No chipping and pealing
  • The siding is flush to the exterior and not warped
  • Insulated siding panels and housewrap are present

Does Your Siding Properly Insulate Your Home?

Foam-backed siding is one of the best ways to insulate your home. This is because it reduces heat transfer down to the wood studs.

Adding vinyl siding to your home further seals its thermal envelope. Insulated siding is like wrapping your home in warmth. Our vinyl siding offers more insulating power than fiber cement, wood, engineered wood, or brick siding. 

In addition to insulation, your siding replacement project also needs house wrap, which is a moisture-proof barrier that prevents energy loss and rot.  

Winter Home Checklist: Replace Your Roofing, Windows & Siding Now

Countless homeowners all throughout the North Shore count on us to make their homes more energy efficient and comfortable during the winter season. Whether you live in Lynn, Salisbury, Danvers, Peabody, or somewhere in between, we are here to help you protect what matters most. 

Improving your home’s exterior can help save energy. The truth is that inefficient windows, doors, roofing and siding can have a tremendously negative impact on your energy bills.  With energy rates skyrocketing increasing up t0 85% and the forecasted winter season an above average cold and snowy one, you’re going to feel the pinch in your wallet if you have inefficient energy products.  


At Coastal Windows & Exteriors, we want to help you make sure your home is protected this winter, making your home as energy-efficient and safe as possible. Need financing help? We got you covered.