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How to Prepare Your Home for Cold Weather

How to Prepare Your Home for Cold Weather

Now that the cold weather is amongst us, it is time to start thinking about how you are going to take care of your home in the upcoming winter season.  Being a homeowner in the winter can be a pain sometimes, but you can limit the inconvenience by addressing the gaps, cracks and waste that drives up fuel costs. 


Install Weatherstripping

Weatherstripping is a strip of rubber that is used to insulate doors, windows and other areas of your home that are letting cold air in.  It is a cheap and effective way to keep the cold out of your home during the winter months. Start by checking the openings in your home and determine if cold air is entering your house. Then use the weatherstripping to seal a drafty door by installing foam or felt weatherstripping inside the door frame. Ask your local hardware store for the correct products and installation instructions.


Add Attic Insulation

Did you know that as much as 30% of your home’s heat could be escaping from your attic? According to House Logic, not having attic insulation is the number one cause of heat escaping your home.  Loose-fill or blown-in insulation is one of the most effective types of insulation for attics.  It requires a machine that shoots a stream of loose-fill cellulose over the existing attic floor framing. This is typically a job for an insulation contractor. The advantage is that loose-fill insulation does a great job of filling in small crevices and other hard-to-reach areas.


Install a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat can save up to $180 a year on fuel costs, according to EnergyStar. The thermostat can save fuel by automatically lowering (or raising) your home’s temperature while you’re away. It also keeps temperatures consistent, saving fuel. The Nest Thermostat is a great one to take a look at if you are interested in reducing energy costs!


Replace Furnace Filters

Dirty furnace filters reduce furnace efficiency and push up heating bills. They also shorten the life of a furnace.  Check and replace the furnace filter monthly in winter or every three months while the system is in operation. Your owner’s manual will tell you where it’s located. Hold the filter up to the light: If you can’t see light through it, you need a new one.


Insulate Water Pipes

The last thing any homeowner wants to deal with this winter is burst water pipes.  Insulating your water pipes is an easy task that will save you a lot of money in the long run.  Insulate the hot water pipes in your basement or crawl space by snapping foam sleeves on them. You’ll find pre-slit, hollow-core, flexible foam pipe insulation at hardware stores.


Use Your Window Coverings

It’s surprising how much insulation can be provided by curtains, drapes, shades and even mini blinds. Draw window coverings at night and when you’re away to conserve heat in the home. In hot weather, draw window coverings in the morning to keep the house cool, saving money on your electric bill.  


No homeowner wants to deal with high electricity bills or emergency maintenance this winter.  Make sure you take the necessary precautions this fall to make this winter a smooth transition into the cold weather.