5 Simple Ways to Winterize Your Home
There’s plenty to like about the winter season—the Christmas holidays; hot cocoa and baked goods; time spent with family and friends; tinsel, sparkle, and good cheer everywhere you look—but of course, winter also brings with it some downsides. The big downside for homeowners is increased utility bills. Simply put, it’s tough to keep your home comfortably warm during the winter months—and the money you spend on heating can really add up!
That’s what makes it so important for homeowners to take some time for winterization—and to do so before the winter weather arrives in earnest. Winterizing your home not only helps you cut utility costs, but it also prevents potentially disastrous home maintenance issues from popping up. Already the air is getting a bit chilly here in the Carolinas, so the time to think about these winterization steps is now!
- First, remember that the best way to lower your heating bills is to increase your energy efficiency—and that means preventing cold air from getting in, and warm air from getting out. Check around your windows and doors and anywhere the wall meets the ceiling, and if you see any holes or leaks—no matter how small—get some caulk and fill them. You might also invest in some draft snakes (or just a rolled up towel) to place alongside the bottom of your external doors.
- Make sure you replace your furnace filters, and that you do so at least once a month for however long you have the heat running! As filters become dirty the airflow is restricted, which means your unit must work much harder to keep your home warm.
- Run your fans in reverse—switching the blades so that they move clockwise. Yes, this matters: It brings air stuck at the top of the room back down into circulation, and can cut your heating bills by five to 10 percent!
- Make sure to drain outside hoses, place covers on outside faucets, and insulate any external piping—all of which can help you avoid frozen and burst pipes this winter.
- Finally, consider taking a peak up in your attic, and look for anywhere that’s a bit bare in the insulation department—including on the backside of the attic hatch. You can quite easily add some new foam insulation, and it will save you big time on heating! (Just be careful not to put any insulation too close to attic-mounted canister lights and the like.)
Winterizing now can save you big bucks—and a lot of headaches—down the road; take a Saturday morning to complete these five steps and you’ll be well on your way!