Winterize Your Home
Winterizing your home should be a priority list item in the fall. There’s no better time to check things off the list and save money on your home heating bill than in the fall! Do it before you turn on your heat! When it comes to the winter season many families go well beyond budget simply trying to keep their home warm. The extra cold days combined with chilly nights can make it difficult to get a handle on heating costs.
There are some ways you can be proactive as a means to prepare your home for winter season. When you take the time to do some of these steps, you will find that winter season will not break the bank as it has in prior years.
Check Attic Access for Leaks
If you have a home with an attic space, chances are there’s an access door that allows heat to escape up into that area and possibly out the top of your roof. Check your attic for areas where air may seep through in winter season. Make sure all insulation is up to date, no holes or crevices are showing where heat can escape.
If you have an attic access door, getting an access door and stair cover can save you money on your heating bill!
Clean Your Gutters
Most people who live in an area where winter season brings upon them snow and ice know that ice dams can build up on your home’s eaves. This makes a prime habitat for mold buildup and icicle formation, which can fall on people or pets.
Be certain that all gutters are free and clear of debris as a means to reduce ice dam build up during the winter months. The good news is there are many tools on the market for this!
- This gutter cleaner grabs debris from the gutter, while standing on the ground – at least for one story homes.
- This garden hose gutter wand attaches right to your garden hose and sprays the debris from your gutters! It’s FUN to use, too!
Invest in Weatherstripping
Carefully take a lit candle around your home and check all exterior doors and windows. If the flame blows towards you at any of your exterior egress points, then you have a draft. Once you have checked all windows and exterior doors for drafts, it’s time to invest in weatherstripping and get your home sealed up!
You can use weatherstripping to seal any drafty windows and doors to prepare your home for winter. Place the weather stripping on the door frame and on the bottom of each window to help reduce drafting. This is especially important for winterizing homes with age.
Caulking Window Trim & Gaps in Siding
Grab a caulking gun and few tubes of exterior latex caulk. Make a trip around your home sealing any gaps around wood trim, wood siding and your windows and doors. Check around any place like outdoor faucet entries, vents and where ever else air might make its way into your home. Seal any gaps you find with exterior caulking to prevent drafts and heat loss.
If you can put aside some money in your budget, you should invest in a programmable thermostat. This will help you to be certain your thermostat is up to date and to zone the temperature in the household all day long. Many say having a programmable thermostat has saved them money on their heating bill during winter season.
I installed a Honeywell thermostat exactly like the one in the video below in our house and I’m sure glad I did! This alone saved us $150 over the previous year’s heating bill! Woohoo!
Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
We all have been taught that heat rises, so whenever possible switch your ceiling fans to go in a clockwise direction during heating season. This will better prepare your home for winter season because the clockwise direction of the ceiling fan will pull the cool air towards the ceiling, thus pushing the warm air down. Most ceiling fans have a reverse button right on them – check to see if yours does, too!
A few more tips…
- Winterize your air conditioning. Start preparing to properly store any window units, and think of covering any outdoor units if you have central A/C.
- Have your HVAC inspected. You don’t want to find out you have a problem with your heating system when you go to turn on your heat! Have an HVAC professional inspect for leaks, efficiency, and possibly even do a carbon monoxide test (if you don’t already have alarms in place).
- Check your roof and your siding. It’s easier to check it now when there’s still ample sunshine and warm weather to take care of any loose shingles, cracks or holes.
- Drain any outdoor faucets and store hoses. Make sure everything is thoroughly drained and any valves inside or outside the house are turned off.
There you have it, a few easy ways you can prepare your home for winter season. Most of these tips will cost minimal money and be well worth the investment of your time. Being certain that your home is winterized will make all the difference between going broke during heating season or not.