The rustling leaves and crispness in the fall air are a chilly reminder that winter is just around the corner. Does the daunting task of preparing your home for winter scare you and your bank account? It doesn’t have to be that way.
Below are some easy tips that won’t break the bank for winter home prep and weatherproofing.
DIY Weatherproofing Tips & Ideas
Keep your home warm and cozy this year with these DIY weatherproofing tips from our team:
Add Honeycomb Cellular Shades
Something as simple as swapping your window treatments could save you in the long run. These shades will keep cold air and drafts out from the window and even around the frame. Remember to lower them at night, when temperatures are cooler, and raise them during the day to let the sunlight warm the house.
Some styles might even qualify for a Federal energy tax credit, so check on that when you’re shopping at your local hardware store.
Use Door Draft Stoppers
You can find these for cheap anywhere, or even DIY one if you’re feeling ambitious. Something as simple as this can really help seal doors and windows and keep the cold drafts where they belong – out.
Seal Leaky Windows
You can pick up some Seal ‘N Peel for about $5 at the local hardware store. This stuff is great for many reasons. Aside from its low cost, it’s actually a clear, temporary sealant. It works like a charm in the winter when you want to prevent the cool air from sneaking in.
Come spring, when you’re opening up the windows to let the fresh air in, you can just peel up the caulk without damaging the paint.
Pro tip: To help identify leaks, take a lit candle around the house and move it around the window and door frames in your house. When you see the flame start to flicker, you’ll know there’s a draft that needs patching.
Sealing your windows is one of the easiest, most affordable improvements you can make that will really save you some green on those winter heating bills.
Invest in a Water Heater Insulation Blanket
These can be another relatively inexpensive thing to invest in but could lead to additional savings in your energy bill. Research has shown that the blankets can reduce heat loss through the sides of the water heater by 25-40%.
Get a Programmable Thermostat
Most thermostats in newer homes will be programmable. If you’re still working off an old system, it might be time to upgrade. They’re nice because you can turn the heat down at night when you’re bundled in bed or even during the day if you’re out of the house at work. Believe it or not, it can save you about $200 annually on your heating/cooling costs.
Check Your Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
This might not seem like an obvious home prep step for winter necessarily. People often forget to check the detectors and change out the batteries, so it’s a good idea to add this to your winter checklist. Try to remember to do it at the start of every season.
Chances are, part of your home lacks in insulation. While this might not be the most affordable tip on the winter home prep list, it’s going to save you the most money in the long run. Pay particular attention to attacks, basements, three season rooms, and crawl spaces as they’re often under-insulated.
Taking the time to beef up the insulation in these areas will save you by keeping in large amounts of heat that would otherwise escape.
If You Get Snow, Get Heat Coils
If you happen to live in an area that sees lots of snow and below-freezing temperatures, you might want to get some heat coils for the roof. This will help with the prevention of ice dams forming on your roof.
In short, ice dams can form at the edge of a room preventing snow from melting and draining. Water can back up behind the ice dams and eventually leak into the home causing damage to walls, floors, ceilings, and insulation. Not sure what to look for? Here are some helpful diagrams and warning signs to look for:
- You see icicles forming on the edge of the roof or gutter.
- Ice is coming through the soffit.
- Ice is forming behind the gutters.
- You see ice or water on the exterior wall.
- You see water coming through the frame of a door or window.
They’re relatively easy to install and can prevent rather extensive damage to both the exterior and interior of your home.
Insulate Your Plumbing
Freezing temperatures can lead to freezing pipes. To avoid bursting pipes in the winter, make sure your plumbing is properly insulated. Insulate both hot and cold pipes. It’ll keep the cold pipes from breaking and the hot ones from losing that heat.
Installing tubular-sleeve insulation is incredibly easy. Cut the sleeve to match the length of the pipe, wrap it, and you’re done. For long pipes requiring multiple sleeves, just make sure to use duct tape to bind and seal the sleeves.
Ready or Not, Winter is Coming
You’ve sealed the doors and windows, added insulation to your attack and plumbing pipes, and you feel you’ve done your winter home prep due diligence. If you’ve done everything right, you should start to see a break in your winter heating bill from the previous year.
Don’t let your home prep stop here. You might come across another small leak in your window that needs sealing or another door requiring you to get your DIY on again. You also don’t have to do everything at once or even in the same year. If you don’t have the time or money to do everything on the list this year, pick one or two things that you can do. Every little bit will help you stay nice and toasty on those frigid nights.
If you’re in need of more weatherproofing advice or resources, get in touch with us at Colonial Van Lines, and we’re here to help. Plus, we’ll even throw in a free moving quote!