As the days get shorter and much, much colder, you know that winter is creeping up around the corner. And while the first snow fall and Christmas season are lots of fun, there is some business you should take care of as a Home Owner before the cold really sets in. Keep the heat in and the cold out and make sure anything that can be damaged by ice or cold is protected. We have listed the 5 most common (and fairly simple) things to do to winterize your home as fall comes to an end.
- Furnace– Obviously this guy earns his keep in the winter and without it, well it wouldn’t be a very livable home. Get your furnace a maintenance checkup/cleaning and change the filter every month to keep it running smooth. Not only does it clean the air in your home, but it keeps the furnace running efficiently.
Cost: $50-$75 for maintenance. $10-$15 per filter.
- Caulk Block – In this case, it is a good thing! Take a walk around your house, high and low (get someone to help hold the ladder and spot you for higher windows) and check for any gaps between windows/doors and the framing around it. You may need to pull off casings to look. Caulking these gaps will help stop cold air from getting in and heat from escaping and can save you a TON on heating.
Cost: Caulking gun $10-$15. Tube of window/door caulk $10 each. Caulk jokes: priceless.
- Window Film/Draft Guards/Weather stripping – We’re giving you a 3 for 1 combo here as they all kind of pertain to the same issue, keeping the heat in. Window film is not always the prettiest looking, but can actually help to keep up to 70% of your heat from leaking out of the windows. Especially if they’re older. Draft guards are an easy solution to slide under exterior doors, as well as weather stripping. It is like caulking around the actual doors and windows where you cannot caulk. Very helpful.
Cost: Window Film $20-$40 per roll. Draft Guards $10 each.
- Programmable Thermostat – If you don’t already have one of these in your home, it may be time to consider investing. One of these babies can save you a nice amount of money on your energy bill every month. They say it can save you about 1% per every degree on your energy bill (Fahrenheit). You can program it to be cooler during the day when you aren’t home and warm up on your way home.
Cost: $75-$250. Many different options here.
- Outside Prep – Taking care of a few minor things around the outside of the house can end up saving you money every spring. Cleaning the gutters allowing for proper drainage as water freezes and melts will prevent large build ups, broken gutters and large dangerous icicles. Turn off outside water and remove the hoses. Frozen water outside can travel to pipes inside and crack copper pipes, or simply ruin your hose and cost you $30 every spring to replace it. Cover up/Tie down all patio furniture and A/C units; keep them out of the elements!
Cost: Just your time and energy. Maybe a tarp or two.
- Bonus: Flush out your hot water tank. Dirt and grime particles can build up at the bottom of your hot water tank over the years and cause inefficiencies during usage. Flush the water using the drain valve at the bottom and keep your water tank operating at peak performance.
Have any other good ideas or something we may have missed that could help a fellow Home Owner? Please share in the comments or Tag us in a Facebook post!
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