5 simple DIY steps to proactively ready your home for winter
The end of October is approaching, and that means winter is on the way! The proactive approach would be to get a jump start on winterizing your home while the temperatures are cool and the days are brighter. I choose this time of year to prepare my own home for the winter season—that means doing what I can do keep the warm air in and the cold air out by plugging leaks, exchanging my furnace filter for a new one, and protecting my plumbing pipes from cracking.
I personally find that by completing the following five simple winterizing tips, I’m able to save a ton of money on my winter energy bills.
1. Plug the leaks around your home
That means do walk around your home’s exterior to see if there are any leaks in windows and doors where caulking has rotted or weakened. The goal is to aim keep as much warm air in and as much cold air out as possible and you can do that simply by sealing the air leaks where drafts are getting in—especially around window sills, door frames and electrical outlets. A few tubes of caulk and some inexpensive weather-stripping is the cheapest and more inexpensive way to keep your winter energy bills low. Apply both around your windows and doors and do your best to plug holes and cracks in your exterior vents (i.e., dryer vents, cable lines, gas and water lines) as well as drafty electrical outlets if energy is leaking outside. Believe me; do this simple fix and you’re need to crank the heat will be diminished during colder months.
2. Swap your old and abused furnace filter for a new one
Cranking the thermostat is no way to reduce your home energy costs this winter. And the most efficient way your furnace will run, and protect your house and its occupants against the risk of a fire, is by exchanging your used and abused furnace filter with a new one. Insert a new furnace filter and you will find that your air quality not only is better (with less irritants in the air inside your home), but also your furnace will suddenly be working at optimal level—and that means you’ll need to use less energy to heat your home effectively and stay warm inside your house.
3. Set your thermostat to automatic
The simplest thing to do to save money on energy on your home energy costs is often overlooked by most home owners. Programming your thermostat in a way that keeps heat low when you’re not at home (i.e., during the day when you’re at work) and also when you are sleeping, and higher approximately an hour before you go to bed as well as before you wake up will help you realize huge savings on winter energy bills! After all, why does your heat have to be cranked when you’re not at home? Right!
4. Protect and wrap your exterior pipes
A burst pipe is a huge money drain on your household expenses, especially when your home’s exterior piping can be protected by simply shutting off exterior pipes during winter and wrapping all pipes leading out of your home in rags or plastic to protect them from freezing! So take the time to wrap your exterior pipes to prevent a burst frozen pipe and a ton of emergency expenses to fix the damage!
5. Ensure your water heater is working effectively. The worst thing in the dead of winter is no hot water. Do some proactive maintenance by checking the unit to ensure it’s working properly or else you might find yourself with an unexpected and pricy water heater repair mid winter when you’re desperate!