Winter can bring thoughts of hot cocoa, warm sweaters, and cozy evenings in, but it can also bring higher energy costs.
However, a little preparation before the cold months hit can go a long way. A few simple steps can help you save energy, cut utility bills, and stay warm and comfortable in your home throughout the winter.
Here are the basic steps for how to winterize your home.
Sealing it Up is How to Winterize Your Home
Keeping cold weather out, and your heat in is one of the most fundamental principles to winterizing your home.
Put draft guards under doors, install a storm door (and storm windows), and caulk any cracks around the edges of your doors and windows.
Weatherstripping tape can be used to ensure the seals are tight around windows and doors, and if your windows are not as energy efficient as you would like, consider a window insulation film kit to seal them.
Protecting Your Pipes
Pipes, especially those that are exposed under the home, run through the attic or other non-heated areas, should be insulated.
Don’t forget to disconnect sprinklers and garden hoses stored outside and make sure the spouts are shut off completely.
Winterizing Your Roof
Prepare your roof for the harsh conditions of winter. Get a close look at any damage such as loose or missing shingles or rot by getting on the roof to inspect it.
Make sure your gutters are clean and clear of clutter. Melting snow that doesn’t drain properly from blocked gutters can cause damage.
Trim any tree branches hanging over your roof. A heavy snowfall or freezing rain or ice can weigh down branches, causing them to snap and fall.
Tune It Up
Preparing for winter should include a check of your home’s heating systems.
Furnaces and water heaters should all be serviced to make sure they are clear of any buildup and running as smoothly as possible and help prevent a breakdown during the coldest of months.
An HVAC tune up done by a trusted professional can help put your mind at ease and save you money by ensuring your system is running efficiently.
Any working chimneys should also be cleaned and checked before the first use of the season.
The US Department of Energy recommends lowering your home’s temperature during the winter to save money.
In fact, you can save up to ten percent annually on your energy bill by setting the thermostat back seven to ten degrees from its normal setting for eight hours a day.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to install a programmable thermostat that will adjust the temperature down when you are away from home or sleeping at night.
Stay Warm and Save Money
Following a few simple steps on how to winterize your home can keep you comfortable and save you money during the colder months.
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