Winter weather will soon be upon us, and for those in colder climates this means it is time to prepare for inclement weather. Before the snow arrives and the temperatures plunge, every homeowner needs to winterize your home. Here are 5 easy and cost effective ways you can help protect your home from severe weather.
5 Easy Ways to Winterize Your Home
1. Sealing Your Doors and Windows
A drafty home is a sign that you are spending too much on your energy costs. Locating and plugging the air leaks in your home is the most effective way to reduce your heating and utility bills. Leaks force your heating system into overdrive, spiking your energy usage. You can seal those leaks with caulking or replaced the weather stripping around doors and windows. We also added door sweeps as an inexpensive option since our home has large gaps under the doors. If you are overwhelmed by all the options, this chart can help you choose the best solution to winterize your home.
2. Protecting Your Pipes
Cold weather brings the threat of frozen pipes. If your pipes freeze, or worse burst, you will be left with a huge headache and repair bill. While this is a rare occurrence in places that are well-insulated, pipes running through exterior walls or uninsulated spaces can create a problem. Before the thermometer dips below freezing, locate and seal any openings in the walls near your pipes. You can also insulate the pipes to ensure you wallet will not be hemorrhaging money like a burst water main.
3. Covering Your Water Heater
For the same reason we wear jackets in winter, it is a good idea to cover your water heater. The added layer of insulation protects it and requires less energy expenditure to function. Most home improvement stores even sell custom blankets for your water heater. These usually cost around $20 but can save you even more in the long run. It is a cheap and simple solution to winterize your home.
4. Lowing the Thermostat and Water Heater
This piece of advice may seem simple, but it can take some time to get used to as well. If you can optimize the temperature of your home, you can help regulate a huge portion of your electric bill. The recommended temperature is 68 degrees, but you can adjust it to your personal comfort.
You can also turn down the water temperature as the weather cools. You probably don’t need to have your water heater set to a scorching 120 degrees. Turning it down by even 10 degrees can save you roughly 3-5% of your energy costs.
5. Changing Your Drapes
As the weather changes, many people change out their home décor. However, there are also practical purposes for switching out your drapes as it gets colder. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, proper curtains can save an estimated 25% on your monthly heating costs.
Quality, lined draperies provide an additional layer of insulation within your home. I chose to also go for full blackout curtains for the added benefit of uninterrupted sleep. Changing your drapes is a stylish and cost-effective way of preventing warm are from escaping your home and lowering your monthly bills.
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- Improve Your Home’s Resale Value With Energy Efficient Replacement Windows.
Jenny Smedra is an avid world traveler, ESL teacher, former archaeologist, and freelance writer. Choosing a life abroad had strengthened her commitment to finding ways to bring people together across language and cultural barriers. While most of her time is dedicated to either working with children, she also enjoys good friends, good food, and new adventures.