Can you feel winter right around the corner? The temperature is getting lower everyday and the air is becoming frigid. This time of year, your electricity bill shoots up because of the heater. But instead of turning on your heater, there are other ways to make your home warmer without the added cost.
Winterizing your home is one of the steps to make your home energy efficient. Energy efficient homes consume lesser energy, saving you money on electricity bills and more money to spend for the holidays.
You don’t have to wait for winter to set in before winterizing your home. You can start some of the tasks now so you’re ready to take in any weather that comes. The ideal time to start is late fall or around the first frost.
- Winterize your doors and windows. Old-style doors and windows are not energy efficient, thus letting the warm air slip through cracks and spaces. If you have the money, upgrade to more modern and energy efficient styles. If you have no budget, you can repair, reglaze or replace window panes if there are cracks. Find cracks and gaps on your windows and doors and fill them with caulk or low-expansion foam insulation.
- Worn out weather stripping around your door and windows should be replaced as well.
- Make sure that your windows and doors are styled to fit the season. If you have a summer door/window, replace it with the type suitable for a stormy season. You can also winterize your windows by attaching a shrink wrap or bubble wrap on the window frame.
- Check your insulation. Having a faulty insulation can be costly so you have to check your insulation. You can ask for professional help by consulting with your local energy provider for an energy audit. However, you can also do it yourself, but it involves a bit of math. Simply measure the thickness of the material, multiply it by the insulation’s R-value per inch and compare the product to the recommended R-value in your area. If the R-value is not enough, you can add more materials.
- Seal your home. There may still be air leaks inside your house, and you can use a scented candle or incense to find where these leaks are. All your efforts insulating the house will go to waste if your interior is not properly sealed.
- You also have to investigate wires and cables because the sections where they pass through will mostly have a leak. You can seal these openings with caulk. It will also protect your wires from pests that could infest these gaps.
- Twist your fan. Did you know that you can control the temperature of the room just by changing the direction of the fan? I’m not talking about left or right. For ceiling fans, you can turn the fan to rotate clockwise to push warm air down (for winter), and counterclockwise to pull it up (for spring).
- Plug your chimney. Before you do anything with the chimney, make sure it is cleaned up first so that there are no obstructions. The chimney is a great air leak, so you have to seal it well. Keep the damper closed when you’re not using the wood burner, or install a chimney cap. You can also find chimney insulators in local hardware stores.
- You should not only prepare the inside of the house, but the outside as well. Start off by cleaning your surroundings – roof, gutter, garden, lawn, trees, pathway and driveway.
- Remove unnecessary items like garden hoses and air conditioning units and insulate exposed pipes.
These are small steps you can do to make sure that your house is ready for the harsh weather.