Tips for Winterizing Your Home
With the fall chill in the air, we thought it might be a good time to compile some tips for winterizing your home. After all, while we can start up our electric fireplaces and get out the electric blankets, how can we save on heating costs and keep cold air from getting inside? Luckily, learning how to winterize your home is easy. From curtains to keep out the cold to putting a towel underneath exterior doors, you might be surprised at how simple winterizing can be. Use these easy and budget-friendly tips for winterizing your home to stay cozy and warm during the frigid winter months!
Heating Your Home Effectively
What’s the best way to heat your home during the winter months? There’s actually a smart and savvy strategy that keeps your home warm when you need it to be, but cuts back on costs so that your budget doesn’t feel the heat. Set the thermostat to 50 or 55 when you’re asleep or away from the house. That way, you aren’t wasting unnecessary heat on an empty house. Another helpful heating tip? If you have ceiling fans, make sure they move in a clockwise direction. This actually pushes warm air towards the floor instead of circulating cold air. Check to see if your fan has a switch that will allow it to spin in the opposite direction to get that extra boost of warmth!
How to Keep Heat IN Your House
Too often, it seems like money is blowing out the door along with the rest of our warm air. Cracks and gaps in your home can cause their fair share of winter woes. The good news? There are a few fast and easy ways to take care of leaky windows and drafty doors.
Create a “draft snake,” which is essentially a rolled up towel that you push underneath your exterior doors to keep warm air from rushing out. It also helps to spend some time caulking windows, doors, and siding. Have someone stand outside windows and doors with a blow dryer while you hold a lit candle on the other side. If the candle is blown out by the dryer, it’s time to start caulking. You can also walk around the outside of the house and look for any gaps between the siding and the windows or doors.
Weatherstrip tape is a homeowner’s best friend, especially in homes with older windows. Weatherstripping is a method of applying felt or foam tape in between doors or windows and walls. It keeps warm air from leaking out of the house and cold air from leaking inside. Weatherstrip tape packages have detailed instructions depending on the type of window you’re weatherstripping. However, as a general rule, weatherstripping tape should only be put on clean, dry surfaces. Make sure to measure the area you’re weatherstripping before the tape is cut, and apply the tape so that it compresses when the window or door is shut.
Other Money-Saving Winterizing Tips
Take a good look at the water heater. Is it set at 140 degrees? That’s the default setting, but most households usually don’t need any more than 120 degrees. While you’re at it, make sure to flush the water through the drain valve to keep sediment from gathering over time. We also love thermal curtains to keep out drafts; most thermal curtains have insulated backing that does a great job of keeping the cold out.
We also recommend replacing the filters in your central air and heating system every three months. For only about $10, you can save a lot in energy costs; clogged filters can actually shorten the life of a central heating system. Finally, clean out the gutters before the temperature drops below freezing! This prevents icicles from forming, since the water can actually go down the gutters where it’s supposed to.
With these budget- and time-friendly tips for winterizing your home, it’s easy to get the cozy winter home of your dreams!