It's here. The Winter! We all want to save money and prevent damage caused by the Winter months. Here are some very easy and cost effective things from Mid-Atlantic Home Improvement that you can do to help your home in the coming cold months.
With the cold-weather months settling in, homeowners are looking for ways to shut out the elements to maintain optimal indoor comfort and energy efficiency.
Performing some relatively simple improvements and winterizing tasks before ice and snow settle in can save you a lot of money, hassle and headache during the winter season.
14 Money-Saving Tips for Winterizing Your Home
6 Smart Outdoor and Exterior Winterizing Tasks
Beginning outside, here are six tips to help seal your home’s building envelope and prevent potentially costly problems:
- Clear eaves and gutters of autumn leaves and debris. Making sure that water can flow freely through your gutters now will help prevent icicles and ice dams from forming later.
- Turn off the water supply to all faucets and fixtures that service exterior locations.
- Locate and seal off any cracks or gapsin your home’s shell with caulking, especially around window frames. Cold air seeping in and warm inside air leaking out accounts for major energy waste – simple leaks can sap home energy efficiency by 5% to 30% a year. Seal up gaps with caulking and weatherstripping especially around doors and entry points.
- Cover drafty windows and patio or deck doorways with an insulating layer of clear plastic, or better yet replace older windows with energy-efficient one, if you can.
- Fix any roofing problems like aging or missing shingles. Repairing minor defects before winter arrives can help prevent larger and more costly problems heading into spring.
- Get your chimney inspected & cleaned – a chimney sweep can check the structure of your flue and remove any combustibles or obstructions in your chimney.
8 Effective Ways to Winterize Your Outbuildings and Interiors
Follow up by making money-saving improvements to outbuildings and interior spaces:
- Seal off drafty doors with rubber strips, or install new storm doors to help energy efficiency.
- Replace filters monthly during heating season – dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy demand. Replacing them regularly will improve your furnace’s efficiency and longevity saving your money along the way.
- Change your ceiling fan direction. Counterclockwise rotation produces cooling breezes and clockwise rotation produces warmer air. Changing the direction of your ceiling fans will circulate the air pooled near the ceiling back down – cutting your heating costs as much as 10%.
- Wrap water heaters and exposed indoor pipes that transport hot water with insulation to help prevent any energy loss.
- Upgrade insulation in key areas, including attics, basement ceiling, exterior walls and around electrical sockets; this can help reduce your heating costs by keeping a more warm air inside the home and inhibiting thermal transfer.
- Install a programmable thermostat to create an optimized, automated heating schedule that keeps your home warm when people are home and saves energy when the house is vacant. And remember, for every degree you lower the thermostat during the heating season, you’ll save between 1 and 3% of your heating bill.
- Seal the ducts – in an average system, 10% to 30% of heated air escapes from ducts. Have a professional test and fix any duct issues – you’ll pay once and save for years to come.
- Have a licensed technician perform a check of your furnace to make sure it’s operating as efficiently and safely as possible and is equal to the challenge of keeping your home warm all winter. Why invest in a professional tune-up? Keeping your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted will reduce energy use, saving up to 5% of heating costs.
Above are some of the most effective ways to save money by winterizing your home the smart way – if you looking for an additional challenge, here’s 50 more ways to save.
These low-cost, high-reward strategies help reduce energy inefficiencies while supporting improved indoor comfort all winter long, all while guarding against potentially costly mishaps. Use them to ward off the cold, reduce your risks and maintain the overall integrity of your home.