With winter fast approaching, there is no time like the present to begin winterizing your home for cold weather. Because freezing conditions can wreak havoc on a home that has not been properly prepared, it is a wise idea to get a head start on the process to make sure that all of your bases are covered, as well as to ensure that everything is working properly.
For many though, winterizing can become an expensive annual problem. Thankfully, with a few tricks of the trade, winterizing can be done effectively while on the cheap.
Here are 6 ways to start winterizing efficiently and cost-effectively:
Because the cold weather can come on suddenly, make sure your heating system is working properly. Not only should you test it to make sure it is running as it should, it is also a smart idea to have a professional come take a look at it to ensure that it is safe to use. Because heaters are used infrequently, as most only use them for 2-3 months out of the year, something could be blocking one of your vents, or the electrical work could have worn down, making it a fire hazard to run. Finding a good specialist, such as one of the Phoenix air conditioning companies that also specialize in heaters, can truly help keep your home fire safe and sound.
The more wear and tear doors and windows get, the more likely they are to let in outside air, causing your house to feel drafty. Warm air rushes out while all of the cold air blows right in. Not only does it make it difficult to keep your house at the right temperature, it also means your heater is working overtime to try and keep up with the unbalanced inside temperature, costing you more money.
Instead of spending the money to replace all windows and doors, look to invest in a draft snake. This tool sits around the bottom of a door, acting as insulation, keeping the cold air outside where it belongs. While you can buy draft snake, you can also make a draft snake with a towel or a piece of fabric. For windows, add bubblewrap to them. While it might look slightly odd, bubblewrap insulates the windows while also allowing light to still filter through.
If there are any gaps in your home where drywall may have broken off, grout might be missing, cracks in the walls or doors, or between the floor and the baseboards, fill them with caulk. As a home ages, there will be some deterioration—it is natural. However, sealing those areas with caulk will help to eliminate any draftiness or bugs that are looking to come inside. Plus, it will save you on your energy bill.
- Ceiling Fans
One of the best tips you can utilize during the winter is to change the direction of your ceiling fan. Most people only use ceiling fans to help circulate cool air in the home. However, by changing the fan to spin clockwise instead of counter-clockwise, your fan will actually produce warm air, as it will bring the hot air that rose to the ceiling back down towards you.
- Storm Doors
For those who live in areas that are prone to extreme storms, consider investing in storm doors. These doors sit outside your existing doors, but are sturdy enough to seal your doors from letting in any drafts. While fixing the drafts, as mentioned above, works wonders in an area that experiences a typical winter, for those that reach temperatures below freezing regularly, it might be wiser to invest in storm doors.
Insulation deteriorates as the home ages, especially in unfinished attics or basements. If you have exposed insulation anywhere, use it as an opportunity to add more insulation to your home. Adding more will not only help eliminate any drafty gaps the insulation was releasing, but will also add a double padding between your house and the outside air. Plus, adding extra insulation is fairly cost efficient.
These 6 tips should help you winterize your house easily and efficiently without breaking the bank.