Cold temperatures, short days, and mountains of snow can take a toll on us during the winter months. Unfortunately, these unwelcome factors can also affect the well being of our homes. With colder temperatures comes increased energy use and unnecessary structural damages. You can't prevent every problem, but winterizing your home ahead of time can prevent costly repairs down the road. To help you out, we have come up with our own list of the Top Ten ways to save money by winterizing your home.
10. Clothe your pipes
Before the grip of winter turns your pipes into popsicles, wrap them up to prevent freezing. Find any exposed pipes and wrap them with insulation or pre-molded rubber sleeves. You should also, ensure that all previously active water lines are drained, and main lines are shut off during the winter. This will help prevent pipes from bursting, resulting in costly repairs and expensive damages.
9. Inspect your chimney/fire place
Most newly built homes do not come equipped with a traditional wood burning fireplace, so this may not apply to everyone. Regardless, it is still something to keep in mind. If you do have a wood burning fire place, make sure it is cleaned and checked before the start of the winter season. Debris and ash can accumulate, causing long-term damage, while reducing the efficiency of your fireplace.
8. Flush your water heater
After time, sediment can build up in your water heater, causing it to use more energy and run less efficiently. To fix this, simply flush it out before the start of the winter season. You will be surprised as to what comes out! Luckily it's only dirt, and not money from your pocket!
7. Replace your furnace filters
At the cost of about $10 a filter, you can ensure that your furnace is running safely, and efficiently all winter long. By failing to regularly change your furnace filters (even before winter) you are increasing the chances of it breaking down and causing irreparable home damage.
6. Draft guards
If you notice that your home has several draft points due to wide gaps underneath doors, you can fortify the empty space with a draft guard! It is a simple Styrofoam insertion that slides underneath a door, keeping hot air in, and cold air out. This way, you are not wasting energy (and money) by having to crank up the furnace when it gets really cold.
5. Keep an eye on your thermostat
If you keep an eye on your thermostat and regulate the temperature of your house accordingly, you will be able to save a lot of money. Sure, it is nice to always have the house warm and toasty, but there is no need for the heater to be cranked all the way up if there is no one home. Understand your own lifestyle habits and adjust your thermostat accordingly to save money on your energy bill.
4. Clean your gutters...
Before Jack Frost comes to your doorstep, make sure that your gutters are free of excess debris. If there are trees around the house, wait until all of the leaves have fallen so you don't have to keep cleaning it. Having clean gutters will allow winter rain, and melting snow to properly drain, preventing ice dams from forming. If an ice dam does form, it can cause a potential water back up, allowing moisture to seep into the house. It will also save you from having to make costly gutter repairs during the spring if any permanent damage is done during the winter.
3. Insulate your heating ducts
When heating ducts are not properly insulated they can lose up to 60% of their heat during the winter. This can cause damage, while increasing the amount of money spent on energy. If your ducts are insulated, the temperature in your house will be better regulated, allowing you to save money on your monthly energy bill and avoid repairs in the future.
2. Insulate your windows
Your window may seem like it's sealed shut, but colder winter temperatures can still find their way through. To start, make sure that all of your windows are properly caulked from the outside. If the caulking is as old as your first born son in university, it may be time to replace it. It can also help to purchase a window insulator kit that helps keep hot air from escaping, and cold air from coming in. This will help you save money on your energy bill every month.
1. Insulate your house
By now, you may have realized a pattern in the last three tips – insulation. Regardless of what you do, having a properly insulated house can help save money on your energy bill all season long. It can also help prevent home deterioration during particularly cold months. Ensure that your home is properly insulated prior to purchasing, that way it wont need to be done after the fact. Keep an eye on particular areas that may experience more wear and tear, and replace the fiber glass insulation before winter comes.