How to Properly Winterize your House Inside and Out
The cold weather is upon us. Unpack all your knitted sweaters and dig in the couches for spare change to buy some extra pumpkin spice lattes, because it is getting cold. Preparing your home for the winter months may seem like a burdensome task, but there are several quick and easy ways to winterize your home without breaking the bank.
Why It’s Important to Winterize your Home
Fuel and electricity rates aren’t going anywhere but up. Incorporating energy conservation by making simple changes to your home will keep your house warm and your pockets full. Winterizing obviously applies to the wintertime, but it can also be beneficial in the warm seasons as well. Making all the necessary preparations on your home in advance will help your home run efficiently, and it will save a lot of time in the long run. Follow the tips below, and begin winterizing your home.
- Close off Air Leaks to Keep Cold Air Out
A good place to start is checking for drafts in the attic and rooftops, since heat rises. Next, check the basement, windows, and doors. An estimated 5 to 30 percent of your energy usage is wasted through unwanted airways, so finding the problem areas are very important steps in the winterization process.
- Door Strips: Closing off the space under your door is as simple as rolling up a towel and plugging it up under the door. You can also get creative and include your family members by organizing a craft do-it-yourself project to dress up the door draft blocker.
- Windows: Using films around the sills is an inexpensive, quick fix. You can buy kits to keep cold weather from leaking in. Another option is to invest in storm windows. These can be taken out and stored and reinstalled at your leisure. You can really tell a difference when the wind starts to pick up. Plus, storm windows let in more light and ventilate the home.
- Caulk: This is a good way to seal off your home, but be sure to note, if the opening is larger than a quarter of an inch—then you would need filler instead. For long-lasting results, opt for waterproof, shrink proof, crack proof, flexible, silicon caulk.
- Insulation: Whether it’s blown-in, rolled up, or stuffed into those crevices, adequate insulation is important when considering the environment and household budgets.
- Change the Furnace Filters: Dirty filters strain production because it restricts the airflow, forcing it to work much harder than necessary. Use an electrostatic filter to catch most of the bacteria, mold, and viruses that seem so much more apparent in the winter. A new filter will also cut down majorly on energy costs.
- Fans: Fans are known for cooling, but reversing the direction of the blades circulates the heat at the top of the room back throughout the space.
- Thermostats: Most water heaters have a standard temperature set by installers, and it might be set higher than necessary. Check yours to make sure it’s only around 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Here’s a quick money saver to cut down on heating costs: lower the temperature on your thermostat and start dressing with layers while you’re lounging around.
The condition of your home around the outside is just as important to maintain as the inside.
- Cleaning out the gutters prevents ice from building up, and in turn saves you from fixing the gutters after being damaged or broken-off.
- Check for any potentially hazardous tree limbs that can fall on the house after a bad storm.
- If you’re in for a particularly snowy winter, consider sealing your driveway. Among other benefits of sealing, the dark color of the repaired driveway will help melt snow quick.
- Another area to check is your chimney and make sure it is clean and then keep it maintained.
Winter isn’t as fun if you don’t have warm options, and if you can’t afford a cruise to the Bahamas–winterize your home, stay warm, and save on fuel and electricity. Maybe put the money you’re saving in the bank for a cruise next year!