If you are a homeowner, thinking of ways to save on energy and taking care of your home is on the forefront of your mind…or at least it’s on ours! Winterizing your home can help save money on energy costs and spare your house from the effects of a harsh winter. Not all steps for winterizing take a lot of money and time. Let’s see how these 10 steps for winterizing your home can impact your winter experience!
#1- Bring outdoor items in:
Freezing temperatures can damage outdoor items such as outdoor furniture, cushions, and grills. Bring in all cushions and outdoor furniture if possible! Cover your grill and place it indoors as well, be sure to leave all propane tanks outdoors. These steps can spare your outdoor items from wear and tear. While you are at it, grab the garden hose and store it indoors for the winter too! Disconnecting and bringing water hoses inside will protect them from weather damage. Unless you live in Florida, you will not be doing any watering come January. This is an easy and completely free step!
#2 – Seal Windows
Keep the warm air in by weatherproofing windows and doorways with caulk and seals. If you are in an area that experiences harsh winters, this is a game changer. The first place that cool air seeps in is through the windows. Add high-quality latex, caulk, or sealant to keep the cold air out and the warm air in!
#3- Weatherstrip Doors
Use weatherstripping to keep warm air in. Like caulking your windows, weatherstripping goes a long way when trying to keep warm air inside. This is another inexpensive fix that will make a big difference. Check your local hardware store for weatherstripping kits. They are inexpensive and highly effective.
#4 – Add Pipe Sleeving
Frozen pipes create a nightmare for a homeowner! The aftereffects that come with frozen pipes can be devastating to your home. To avoid this, check all pipes before the cold settles in. Look for blockages and make sure all pipes are cleared. If going the extra mile is your thing, you can add pipe sleeving to keep your piping warm and avoid frozen pipes. Insulating your pipes creates a barrier between them and the cold air, which means your piping will stay warm and cozy all winter long, resulting in no frozen pipes!
#5 – Insulate Your Attic
An attic is like a magnet for hot air. Let’s say you have sealed and weatherproofed all doors and windows and it still feels like your hot air is escaping, you might need to look up. Attic insulation plays a major role in keeping hot air trapped indoors. Insulation goes bad over time and needs to be replaced. If your insulation needs to be replaced it can either be done by a professional or you can tackle the project yourself! This can be timely and messy, but it will keep your heat from escaping and overall keep your home warmer, with the bonus of a lower energy bill.
#6 – Clean Out Gutters
Keeping your gutters cleared out is another way to winterize your home. Before the cold and snow start to settle in, climb up on a ladder and get to work. This will prevent damage to your roof and siding as well as allow your house to look a little more polished and put together!
#7 – Get Your Furnace serviced
It feels like dust inhabits most spaces in our homes. Thankfully we do a thing called dusting, and things stay tidy and clean…until they need to be dusted again. A furnace is not something in our homes that we think to dust or clean. But, getting your furnace serviced annually allows the parts to be cleaned of dust and dirt, allowing your furnace to operate more efficiently, which in turn saves you money. While you are at it be sure to change out the filter in your furnace! During an annual service, the technician will replace your air filter, resulting in clean air being filtered through your house!
#8 – Rotate Your Ceiling Fan
This step is done with the click of a button. Find your ceiling fan remote and rotate your ceiling fan from operating clockwise to counterclockwise. Doing so pushes the heat towards the floor rather than circulating air up into the ceiling. A very simple and effective step!
#9 – Block Chimney Drafts
Air seems to escape throughout the entire house, remember attics, doors, windows, and the list goes on. The next culprit, guilty of allowing warm air to escape is the chimney. The chimney can have a major impact on your energy bill. To conserve energy, place a draft stopper to prevent the warm air from escaping up top. Only do this step if your fireplace is not used for burning wood.
#10 – Turn Down Your Water Heater
A completely free tip, turn down your water heater and save on energy costs. The higher your water heater is set, the higher your utility bill will be. Hot Water heaters account for about 20% of an energy bill. What is the best temperature for your hot water? After all, no one wants to take cold showers. According to Home Works Energy, the ideal temperature for your hot water is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If your water tank is too cold bacteria will grow inside which is disgusting! The recommended temperature considers a comfortable temp that won’t lead to any sanitary issues!
That rounds out our list of winterizing your home! Whether you like it or not, winter comes every year, and it is best to be prepared for what the cold might bring. Get started, stay warm and save on your energy bill!