Winterize Your Home for Savings
Each year hundreds of dollars are lost because homes aren’t winterized properly. Heat escapes through leaks around doors and windows or by inadequate insulation, but there are steps you can take to stop those leaks and keep more of your hard-earned money. By following these simple suggestions, you should be able to save money and help keep your family and yourself a little warmer this winter.
Winterizing your home is not a difficult task. It is one that can help protect your home and keep you from spending so much to heat your home. Check each of the following to see if you’re losing money in these areas:
Air leaks – Check the weather stripping around each door and window. If it is damaged or worn, replace it. Caulk anywhere you see gaps. Don’t forget to install storm doors and windows if they were removed for the summer. Visually inspect the entry point of pipes and ducts into the walls. If there is visible space, use insulation or weather stripping to stop cold air from entering your house. Consider adding insulation behind each electrical plug that is along an exterior wall.
Attic insulation – Probably nothing that you do to winterize will have as much of an effect as ensuring you have enough insulation in your attic. Your local home improvement store should be able to tell you how much insulation is needed in your area. Check the insulation and then add any necessary to keep the cold air out.
Heating system – After the attic insulation, the next obvious place to save money is your heating system. Now is the time to have a heating professional check your system, before it is an emergency. Replace any filters your unit may have and vacuum all vents. If you have a fireplace, have the chimney professionally inspected and cleaned. Close the damper if it is not in use.
Outside the house – Take a few minutes to climb a ladder and visually walk your roof. Replace any loose or missing shingles. Clean drain gutters and downspouts. Trim any limbs that are overhanging or touching your roof. Check the flashings around the chimney and vent pipes and caulk if necessary.
Protect the plumbing – If you usually have problems with pipes freezing in the winter, consider adding heat tape and extra insulation around those pipes. Learn where the whole house shut off is so you can turn the water off in case of a major leak. If you know you won’t be using the outside faucets, drain and cover them.
Since you still have time before the really cold weather hits, now would be a great time to begin winterizing your home. By checking these areas, you will have the time needed to make the improvements so you’ll be ready for winter. These suggestions, when taken a few at a time, can be completed before winter strikes and you have an emergency to handle.