Winter is coming, and due to the economy and growing environmental awareness, many of us are pretty energy-conscious this year. Nonetheless, the prospect of winter-proofing your home can seem daunting – but there are easy and simple steps you can take to make your home more winter-proof without a complete overhaul. It does not have to be a big, expensive project. Here are some easy ways to keep out the cold out and keep in the heat.
1. Caulk: it’s not just for the bathroom
Caulk is an excellent and inexpensive way to seal air leaks around your home. It can be used in the attic, around non-moving window panes (particularly between the window frame and the wall), in cracks in your home’s siding, around door jambs (where they meet the wall), and even at the base of the siding where it meets the foundation.
2. Install a programmable thermostat
This is a simple way to ensure that your furnace will not be working to heat your home when you don’t need it. It also covers for you in case you leave the house or go to bed and forget to turn down the thermostat.
3. Get your furnace serviced
Keeping your furnace in top working order is important for energy saving. Make sure it is running properly before winter begins to avoid repairs in the winter, when going without central heat while awaiting repairs can be uncomfortable or even dangerous.
4. Put a hat on your home
Insulating your attic is like putting a winter hat on your house. It keeps heat from escaping through the roof – remember, heat rises. While you are focusing on the top of your house, check your gutters and see that they are clean and free of debris, and check your chimney for air leaks. Such leaks can be sealed easily with caulk.
5. Consider storm windows
Interior storm windows are an inexpensive way to keep heat from escaping, and they can be taken down when winter is over. They even come in plastic sheets which are the least expensive option.
6. Insulate your water pipes
One of the concerns with turning the thermostat down is freezing pipes. Pipe insulation, though, is a relatively easy way to ensure against this occurring. Pipe sleeves or tubes made of foam can be purchased at most hardware stores, and are cut so that they fit right over the pipes.
7. Apply weather stripping to doors and windows
Weather stripping is inexpensive and easy to apply – it should be put along the edges of windows and doors, including basement and attic windows and the garage.
8. Weather-proof the front door
You may want to replace your existing front door with a more energy-efficient one, or add a storm door to your current one. The most important thing is to be sure the edges of the door are tightly sealed and square, which may mean a new door and frame are necessary.
Hopefully, these ideas and tips will enable you to enjoy the winter weather without worry.
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