The fall season is officially upon us and that means that winter is just around the corner. While winters in the south are generally mild, it never hurts to be prepared for potentially harsh weather and do a little home prep now to ensure your energy bill isn’t through the roof come January.
This time of year is the perfect time to make a few cost-saving repairs to your home that will keep you warm when the temperature drops. Most of these items will you will be able to take on without the help of a professional. Here are some tips for winterizing your home so you can save on heating costs:
Caulk around windows
Tiny cracks around your windows are a prime place to lose warm air in the winter and let in the cold. Do a thorough examination of your caulking each fall and make sure to patch any holes or drafty spots.
An easy way to know if your door needs new weather-stripping is to look for light coming in from the outside. If you can see light around the edge of your door, it’s time to pick up a roll of weather-stripping from the local hardware store. It will make a huge difference.
Close your fireplace
When your flue is open, it is a direct path for cold air to enter your home. Check that when it is closed, you don’t feel a draft from the fireplace and if you do, you might be in need of a repair.
Insulate your windows
Older single-paned windows are notorious for poorly insulating a home but if you can’t shell out the money to replace them, try adding heavy drapery and/or window insulation film. The difference is quite noticeable once installed and you can put new energy efficient windows on your to-do list for the spring.
Put down rugs
Adding plush rugs in your living spaces will make for a more pleasant experience on cold mornings. The rugs will act as an additional layer of insulation between you and the floor, which will often be the coldest point in your home.
Improve your insulation
Even if your insulation was in great shape when you bought your home, it does deteriorate over time. The areas that will make the most impact during the winter are crawl spaces, attics, basement ceilings, and covering attic doors with insulating covers to help trap in the heat.
Hot water heater
Hardware stores sell water heater blankets to help keep your tank toasty so it doesn’t lose its heat as quickly. This $20 investment will make a big impact on your heating bill all winter long.
Change your filters
You heating system will be the life blood of your home in the winter so ensure that it is getting as much air as possible. Filters should be changed monthly in the cold months because the systems are working harder. A dirty filter will mean more work for your heater and more cost on your bill.
Get a programmable thermostat
Smart thermostats can not only be set to change the temperature based on your schedule, but more sophisticated devices can learn your activity patterns and change the temperature when the home is empty versus occupied. Over time, they will help you to utilize the heat only when it is necessary and impact your overall bill.
Now is the time to get started on winter preparations for your home. Even mild winters have an impact on your energy costs so a little work during the fall will have you warm and enjoying your extra savings when the spring rolls around.