Winter will soon be upon us, and it is time to start thinking about how to winterize your home. But where should you start? Here are six easy tips that will keep your home warm, secure, and efficient during the cold winter months.
- Avoid Drafts
Cold drafts can make their way under doors and through windows, which will force you to turn up the heat and thus increase your heating bill. The U.S Department of Energy has stated that reducing drafts in your home can save 30% of your annual energy usage.
You can install draft guards to block the draft and keep the heat inside your house. You can purchase draft guards for as little as 10 dollars, or make a DIY draft guard with a rolled up towel or blanket.
- Install Storm Windows and Doors
Installing storm windows and doors will block drafts and provide more warmth without having to bump up the thermostat.
Storm windows and doors will increase the amount of light that is able to enter your home, and they will help minimize the amount of airflow from outside. This will be a great help when the temperature starts to drop and the cold winds begin.
- Seal Leaks and Cracks
If you’re going to seal a drafty door or window, it makes sense to also seal any other cracks or leaks in your house. Whether it’s a leak in a window frame, cracks in the wall, cracks in brick, cracks near your chimney, or even the small holes where wires or pipes are installed, these openings can allow cold air into your home.
You can either hire a professional to seal these leaks, or you can easily do it yourself with caulking or weatherstripping. This type of winter home maintenance is crucial for staying warm and keeping your home energy efficient.
Sealing cracks and leaks is a great start when insulating your home, but there is more you can do.
Using fiberglass insulation will help your home hold in the heat while keeping the cold outside where it belongs. While it might not look pretty, insulation can save you from cold nights and spending a fortune on your heating bill.
You can install fiberglass insulation around attic and basement doors, windows, air conditioners, and especially the floor in the attic. Insulation is a cost-effective tool when you winterize your home; it can be done inexpensively as a DIY and it will save both energy and money.
- Use Energy Efficient Water Heaters and Furnaces
New technology has made water heaters and furnaces increasingly more energy efficient; upgrading to the most recent models can be a lifesaver this winter. If you can’t afford to replace your older heater or furnace, at least consider a tune-up or a look-over: you don’t want it to break down on you in the middle of winter!
- Be Mindful When Heating Your Home
With cold air and wet snow, it is tempting to crank up your thermostat and leave it on a high temperature 24/7. Not only can this waste energy and monumentally increase your energy bill, it isn’t necessary.
For every 1 degree that you turn down your heat, you can save 1% of the money on your energy bill. That can add up quickly to give you great savings.
When you’re leaving the house, remember to turn the heat down significantly. There’s no need to keep it on when no one is there. You should also layer clothing while at home, using sweaters and sweatshirts, so that you don’t need to turn your heat quite so high.
Winter can be long and hard. But between saving energy, saving money and staying warm, this winter can be a great one with these six simple tips for winterizing your home.
This post was written for Realty Executives by Elliot Walsh. Elliot is a dual-degree graduate from the University of Rochester with a B.S in Cell Biology and a B.A in English Literature. He is a full-time freelance writer from Boston, specializing in veganism, humor, and health. His articles have appeared in The Rival Rochester and his work experience can be found here: www.linkedin.com/in/ewalsh17.