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Smart Winterizing: Cost-Saving Tips for Homeowners
January 10, 2024 | Posted by: C2C Brokers
The winter months can impact both your comfort and your wallet. To protect your property and save money, you may want to think about winterizing your home. These practical, cost-effective tips will help you prepare your home for the colder months ahead.
Seal the Drafts
Sealing drafts is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to winterize your home. Check windows, doors, and other openings for cold air leaks. You can seal any gaps with caulk or weather stripping-easy to find at your local hardware store. This will keep your home warmer and reduce your heating costs significantly.
Insulate Your Home
How is the insulation in your attic, walls, and floors? Are there any gaps or issues? Replacing it could keep the heat in and the cold out. Although upgrading your home's insulation carries an upfront cost, it can pay off over time since a properly insulated home has lower energy needs. You could pay less for your heating and air conditioning. Consider good insulation a long-term investment!
Tune-Up Your Heating System
Before the cold weather sets in, you may want to check on the health of your heating system. A well-maintained furnace runs more efficiently, uses less energy, and reduces the risk of costly mid-winter breakdowns. No one wants to have to call a repair person on short notice!
Use Programmable Thermostats
Another money-saving option is a programmable thermostat. With an upgrade like this, you can program your energy use to be more efficient and synced with your needs. Lower the heat overnight, which can improve sleep, or keep your thermostat set lower when you're not home. Then you can turn up the heat when you're home. This will ensure more efficient energy use year-round.
Protect Your Pipes
No one likes a water emergency, especially in the winter. If the insulation around your pipes is poor, the water could freeze and potentially burst your pipes. Insulate them well, especially in unheated areas like basements or garages. In extreme cold, you can also keep a trickle of water running in your kitchen and bathroom faucets to reduce the risk of freezing. This tactic is also a good idea if you go on vacation during the winter months.
Service Your Fireplace
If you have a fireplace, have it serviced and cleaned before winter. A well-maintained fireplace not only provides additional heat, it's also safer. Keep a carbon monoxide detector in the home, too, so you can sleep easily knowing you are protected.
Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Windows
If your budget allows, consider upgrading to energy-efficient windows. They're designed to keep the heat in and the cold out and can significantly reduce your heating costs. If a window upgrade is not currently in the budget, heavy window coverings can also help to minimize heat loss, especially at night.
Inspect Your Roof and Gutters
Ensure your roof is in good condition and your gutters are clean. This prevents ice dams and water damage, which can be costly to repair. Checking your gutters regularly for a buildup of leaves and debris can prevent an expensive surprise later.
Use nature to your advantage. Planting evergreens near your home can act as a windbreak and help keep your home warmer. However, if you live in an area that is prone to summer wildfires, check in with your local fire department for ways to minimize the risk to your home before planting trees and shrubs in your yard.
Winterizing your home is an investment in both comfort and savings. These steps can help protect your home from the harsh winter elements and keep your heating costs in check. In the long run, such cost-saving measures will be easier on your wallet, help you maintain your home, and contribute to its resale value in the future.