Winter is coming.
Though the dip in weather comes as a welcome relief to a warm summer, it can be tough on your home. Freezing temperatures, wind and ice may be just an occasional worry or a recurring threat, depending on the climate where you reside.
Last year, we provided some home maintenance tips to prepare for winter, but there’s even more you can do to help get your home nice and cozy, while also saving money.
Clockwise When It’s Cold
One of the smartest tricks to warming up your house in the winter is as simple as flipping a switch. Taking advantage of most ceiling fans’ ability to run in reverse will circulate warm air as it rises, and cut down on your heating costs.
If you haven’t yet, consider upgrading to a programmable or smart thermostat. Available for as little as $20, a programmable thermostat will let you set a heating schedule that matches your day. Say goodbye to heating an empty house, but still be welcomed by warmth when you return.
Fill The Gaps
Keeping cold air out, and warm air in, is clearly the goal. Draft guards that slide under your doors and stop air from flowing beneath are available for just a few dollars each. You should also check your doors and windows for problem spots. Thankfully, weather seal tape and caulk are easy to use. Filling in those costly gaps can be done for just the price of materials.
If you’re convinced you need a professional, be sure to visit www.dsireusa.org for a nationwide database of incentives in your state that could offset the cost of improving your home’s energy efficiency.
Don’t Forget the Fireplace
It doesn’t get much better than sitting by a warm fire on a cold night. However, the chimney can be a problem when it’s not in use. If the room with your fireplace tends to stay cooler during the winter, a chimney balloon might be the solution. These are placed in the chimney and then inflated to block airflow.
The last thing anyone wants to deal with during a cold spell is broken pipes, so make sure to insulate any exposed pipes before the temperature drops. Insulating yourself can make a difference too. Keeping a jacket or sweater handy will cut down on your trips to the thermostat, and lower your heating bill.
And remember, if your family is warming up to the thought of purchasing a new home, feel free to contact me.