Daylight savings time has come and gone, and Winter is around the corner. Though the cooler weather first felt like a nice break from those humid summer days, you’ll soon be waking up to frost on the lawn in the morning. Don’t get caught scrambling to fix up your home in cold temperatures or snowy weather. Follow these simple tips you can use now to prepare your home for when the unfavorable conditions strike.
1. Blocking Leaks
Probably the easiest way to save money on your heating bill, blocking small leaks on both the inside and outside of your home is a small project that pays big dividends. According to EarthWorks Group, an average American home has a total number of leaks that collectively make up a nine-square-foot hole.
Take a look around common areas where leaks occur: windows and doors, and near outlets. Throw some sweeps (you can even use rolled up towels for a cheaper alternative) under doors to close the space for drafts to leak through. Seal up the other spots around your windows by caulking them from the outside or using weather stripping.
Another area to check when trying to prepare your home for the winter months is insulation. This is a job that doesn’t involve much, but will instantly make your home more energy efficient.
No matter where you live, you should shoot for a minimum of 12 inches of insulation in your attic. What’s the simple rule of thumb? If you can see the ceiling joists, you need more insulation covering, because those wooden pieces are usually 10-11 inches. Just make sure there is no paper backing on your insulation if you’re adding to spots with pre-existing coverage, as it will cause moisture problems. There are even eco-friendly options that don’t omit harmful chemicals and won’t irritate skin during installation.
3. Wrapping Pipes
Similar to installing insulation, but with more dire consequences if left unattended, wrapping pipes around the home is a painless and necessary preventive step you can take before cold weather sets in.
By wrapping your pipes with insulation, you cover two areas of safety and saving energy. First off, you reduce the likelihood that your pipes will freeze and burst – a disaster during the winter – by locating and covering pipes that are vulnerable.
Secondly, you can save money on your heating bill with insulated pipes. The water in the pipes will stay hotter, meaning less time running water waiting for it to heat up and less heat generation needed from the boiler. In actuality, you conserve water and heat, making your home cheaper and safer.
4. Storm Windows
As you can see, a big trend in preparing your home for cold weather is energy conservation, so your home stays warm in the most efficient way possible. You can increase energy efficiency in your home by around 45% with this tip: installing storm windows.
These go on the outside of your regular windows, and provide extra protection against the cold weather and adverse conditions. Of course, this method for conserving heat is a bit costly. As a temporary (yet very affordable and effective) fix, you could install one or two windows at a time and cover the rest of the spots with a plastic insulator kit.
5. Gutter Cleaning
A final task for your fall days before winter sets in, cleaning your gutters is a bit more time-consuming and tedious, but very worthwhile. This is one you’ll definitely want to plan out in advance, as it’s better to wait for most if not all of the leaves to fall so that you don’t have to perform this chore twice. Learn your region’s fall foliage projections in order to develop a good plan.
Clogged gutters are a huge problem in the winter because water will get backed up and freeze on your roof. The ice will create dams that prevent other water and snow from making it down the spout. This causes water damage as it starts seeping through the roof into your home. Avoid this by cleaning out the leaves and junk that sit in your gutters before freezing temperatures hit.
An even better way to avoid this problem is eliminating the need to clean gutters once and for all with a gutter system that won’t clog. In this system, you’ll never have to worry about that leaf buildup or water seepage. LeafGuard provides such a system and aims to help homeowners everywhere fortify their homes. Find the closest dealer to you today!