Winter brings us charming snowflakes, hot cocoa, and crackling fires; however, it also brings frigid temperatures that impact your home and energy bills. Cut winter energy bills with these 15 home winterizing tips to save you money.
1. Door Gaps
If you put your foot near the interior of your front door, you might be surprised at the cold draft coming in. Doors often have gaps at the bottom, which lead to a colder home and higher energy bills as the furnace tries to keep up. To avoid the drafts, roll up a bath towel and push up against the door gap.
2. Caulk the Windows
Drafts are a big issue in the winter, and many windows are full of them. Thankfully, using some caulk, you can seal up any gaps and cracks around the exterior and interior of your windows to cut down on drafts. Try to get to the exterior before it’s too cold to work outside.
3. Clean the Gutters
If you can get to the gutters before it snows, it’s helpful. To clean your gutters, use a ladder to reach them, then with a work glove on your hand, pull out all the sticks, leaves, and other debris. You can also use a small broom or rag to scrape out all the stuff accumulating in the gutters. Clogged gutters lead to leaky roofs and broken gutters. It’s essential to keep them clean.
4. Flush the Water Heater
Many appliances work harder in the winter, especially ones that are trying to warm things up, such as the water heater. You can help yours this winter by flushing it so sediment build-up doesn’t affect its efficiency. First, turn off the water heater and let it cool down. Attach a hose to the drain valve and let the water out into a safe place, like your garden. This will help it work more efficiently and last longer. Remember to turn it back on after you’re done.
5. Turn Down the Thermostat
Thermostats take center stage in the winter as we battle the feeling that the house is too hot or cold. No matter what temperature you prefer, consider turning the thermostat down when it is bedtime. Everyone is cozy and warm under their covers, and it’s a great chance to give the furnace a break from running constantly. It will save on your gas or electric bill as well.
6. HVAC Checkup
Hopefully, you have an agreement with a service provider who comes to your home twice a year: once for the A/C and once for the Heating system. If not, get something scheduled. A checkup catches minor issues before they turn into big ones, and cleaning keeps your HVAC system running at its highest efficiency, which is cost-saving.
7. Shut Down the Garden Hoses
It’s easy to forget about the garden hose you enjoyed all summer. Once we head inside, it’s out of sight, out of mind. Unfortunately, an ignored garden hose that is still hooked up can cause significant problems in the winter. Unhook the hoses and drain out the water left in them. Bring them inside and ensure the outdoor water spigots are tightly turned off. Skipping the hoses can lead to frozen water pipes that can burst.
8. Close the Fireplace Flue
Feel free to enjoy your fireplace in the winter. However, don’t forget to close the flue when it isn’t in use. An open flue lets in a lot of cold air, raising your energy bill. If you don’t plan on using the fireplace, insert a balloon into the open flue, which blocks cold air even more. Just be sure to remove it if you’re in a crackling-fire mood.
9. Plastic on the Windows
If you’ve caulked the windows but still feel a draft or if the windows aren’t insulated, plastic window wraps are a great solution. The plastic sheets are cut to fit each window and then sealed using a hair dryer. The wraps significantly help cut down on heating costs.
10. Replace the Furnace Filter
A furnace filter collects pet hair, dust, and all kinds of small debris that floats through a home’s air. You likely have an overworked furnace filter if you have a full house. Replace yours regularly to keep the furnace running efficiently. Your HVAC specialist can recommend how often yours needs replacing.
11. Attic Insulation
When was the last time you visited your attic? For many people, there is no reason to. You may not even be sure if it is insulated. This winter, check your attic to see if it needs insulating. Installing insulation is essential to block the cold air in the attic from entering your living space.
12. Outlet Plugs
Did you know all your little outlets invite cold air into your home? Put your hand around the house’s outlets and notice a small draft. Those drafts add up, making the furnace work hard to warm the house. You can use outlet plugs to keep the cold air out for a quick fix, but consider adding outlet gaskets to your electrical plug-ins.
13. Protect the Pipes
The pipes in your home are exposed to a lot of cold air because of their location. Check the pipes and feel which ones are frigid from exposure to the outdoor winter air. Wrap those pipes with foam or towels to help prevent them from freezing up this winter.
14. Chimney Sweep
Fireplaces are beautiful but can be dangerous if not correctly cared for. Before using yours this winter, hire a professional chimney sweeper to ensure your chimney is clean and safe. These services ensure everything is clean and will also fill any cracks and fix issues that allow cold air to enter the home through the chimney.
15. Redirect Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans help cool you in the summer, and they can also warm you in the winter. During the colder months, flip the switch located on your ceiling fan so that the blades circle clockwise (counterclockwise in the summer). Doing this causes the warm air to push down from the ceiling, helping to heat the house more efficiently.
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Anika's goal is to inspire and empower beginners with woodworking, DIY, home improvement, and home decor ideas.
She wants everyone to unlock their creative potential and experience the feeling that comes with making something. Nothing feels better better than seeing something and saying "I can make that!"