Making sure that your home is properly winterized for the cold weather can save you a lot of money. Not preparing your home for the winter can leave you with water damage, burst pipes, and even costly roof repairs due to ice damming. Here are eleven tips that can help you get your home ready for the cold weather and save you some money in the long run.
1) Clean Your Gutters
This is something that most homeowners know they should do, but they neglect it or forget that it needs to be done. Making sure that any falling water can flow freely through your gutters will prevent icicles and ice dams from forming later. Ice dams can end up costing a lot of money if they cause enough damage. Cleaning your gutters may take up your time but it is free and can save you money.
2) Flush the Water Heater
Sediment and other types of particles will begin to collect over time in the bottom basin of your water heater, and it will actually cause it to be less efficient. To combat this, flush the water through the drain valve. This will clear out any lingering materials and keep your heater in tip top shape. There is no cost for this either!
3) Change the Direction of Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are awesome in the summer and save you some money when it comes to air conditioning. But, did you know that they can help you save some money during the winter months as well? Change the direction of your fans so that they’re moving in a clockwise rotation so that they push hot air along the ceiling towards the floor. If they’re going counterclockwise the results will not be the same. This is also free as long as you have a fan.
4) Replace Filters
Changing the filters in your central air and heating system on a regular basis will vastly improve the longevity of your system as well as the efficiency. This will also save you from costly repairs in the future. A new filter can run about $10.
5) Insulate Windows
While this may not be the most fashionable tip, you should insulate your windows using window insulation film. It can keep up to 70% of the heat from leaking out of windows. The cost of this is about $20 to $35 per kit.
6) Draft Guards
Installing draft guards can definitely help the heat from escaping underneath your door. This is only about $10 to $15 dollars. If you don’t feel like spending your money, you can also roll up a towel and put it underneath an exterior door.
7) Weatherstrip Tape
Leaks and drafts always cause the heating costs to skyrocket, so make sure that all of your window as well as your doors are sealed tight with weatherstripping. This is a simple and easy way to reduce your heating costs and it will only cost you about $5 to $10 for a large roll.
8) Fiberglass Insulation
If you really want to make sure that no heat escapes from your home, pack some fiberglass insulation around your basement doors, windows in any unused rooms, and window AC units. Make sure that your attic floor is insulated as well. Just remember to be careful while doing this and wear gloves. This costs about $25 per roll.
9) Programmable Thermostat
The United States Department of Energy states that you can save as much as 1% on your energy bill for every degree that you lower your home’s temperature during the winter. Installing a programmable thermostat will save you money by keeping the temperature down while you aren’t there.
If you find that there are some small gaps in the doors, windows, or in siding, these can be filled with caulk. If you find that a window is extremely drafty, you will want to caulk the inside too by pulling off the moldings. It can cost about $20 for a basic caulk gun and about $5 to $10 for a tube of caulk.
11) Chimney Balloon
A lot of heat can be lost in the winter due to an unused chimney. If it isn’t in use, put a chimney balloon up there to keep the drafts out and the heat in. These run at about $55 dollars at a hardware store.