As fall fast approaches, it’s time to make sure your home is ready for winter. Besides the usual winter projects like rolling up the water hose and buying snow shovels, there are some updates you should consider each winter that can save you money and keep your home in good repair. Here’s a look at four winter updates that you should make that you may have overlooked in the past.
1. Seal or Replace Windows and Doors
Replacing your windows with energy-efficient windows is one of the best ways to lower your energy bills and keep your home nice and warm all winter long. If replacing windows is out of your budget, inspect your windows for cracks and seal them with exterior-grade caulk to block cold air from entering your home. You can also line the inside of your windows and doors with weather stripping for additional protections against drafts. Many homeowners find that the most air escaping door is the garage door. This is likely because garages tend to be slightly warmer than the outside and thus may be less noticeable when you walk by it, compared to when you walk by the front door.
2. Add a Smart Thermostat
When it comes to increasing energy efficiency in your home, it doesn’t get much better than a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats are easy to use and can significantly lower your energy bills. Many smart thermostats are intuitive devices with the ability to learn a household’s heating and cooling patterns. A smart thermostat can adjust the temperature of your home when it’s empty, occupied, or about to be occupied, and smart thermostats don’t have to be programmed. In addition, some smart thermostats can adjust based on the outside temperatures so you don’t overrun your system. This is ideal when the temperature changes dramatically from one day to the next and you may need the inside of your home a few degrees warmer or colder. With these types of smart thermostats, the change can be done automatically so you don’t have to remember to do it on your own.
3. Have Your Filters and Ducts Inspected
Air conditioning services and other HVAC system repairs are not just for summer. Your HVAC system needs to be maintained regularly, including having your ducts and filters inspected and cleaned before winter. A dirty filter in your furnace will make your heating system work harder, which will cost you more money in heating bills. It’s also essential to have your ducts cleaned before the winter months set in to avoid being snowed in with poor air quality caused by dirty air ducts. Sometimes homeowners wait until the heater kicks in and they smell dust burning before they decide to call in for a service. However, it is ideal to prevent this from happening in the first place. In addition, maintaining your HVAC system on a regular basis should help it last longer, and thus, save you money in the long run.
4. Check Your Pipes For Water Leaks
If you have a pipe that leaks during the winter, you are more likely to get frozen pipes, which can completely ruin your water system and require replacements for much of the system. One way to avoid this from happening is to evaluate your pipes for any potential leaks. In addition, you should also consider turning off water to systems that you don’t use regularly, like the guest bathroom, to decrease the chances of stagnant water that can freeze.
5. Insulate Your Attic
The amount of insulation in your attic plays a huge role in your home’s heating and cooling efficiency. Insulation is one of the most effective winter updates you can make to your home to lower your energy bills and keep your home warm and comfortable during cold winter months. According to statistics, over 90 percent of homes in the U.S. are under-insulated, so it’s important to have the insulation in your attic evaluated and updated by an insulation professional.
It’s critical to prepare your home for winter to save money and enjoy a safe and comfortable winter season. If you have some free time, do some of the projects DIY to save money.
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