With winter coming, it’s never too early to start thinking about preparations for your home and how to get the most out of your utilities without receiving a jaw-dropping bill for them. Winterizing may seem like an overwhelming and costly project, but actually, there are many simple ways you can keep your home warm and safe during the coldest months. The important thing is to make a list of the most important items to check off and get those done first.
This includes any repairs that will be more difficult to handle during cold, unpredictable weather, such as roofing or removing dead trees. The latter is especially important for those who live in a heavily wooded area or for homes that have many trees surrounding the property, because heavy snow can cause limbs to fall, leaving damage to the roof, nearby cars, or even people.
Walk around your home and write down anything you see that needs to be addressed, and take care of those first. Don’t forget gutters, structural issues on the front porch, and walkways or steps that could become a slippery danger during storms. Then, tackle these simple projects that will keep you and your family cozy and warm all winter long.
Check your fans
One of the best ways to keep your home warm during the coldest months is one of the simplest: set your ceiling fans to turn in reverse, so they will pull all the hot air down from the ceiling and push it toward the floor. Do this in every room and you’ll be able to feel the change as well as see it on your next heating bill.
Change your filters
Furnace filters trap a lot of dust and debris, especially when the heat is running all the time. Change your filters often to keep them in good working order and keep a few extras handy so you won’t have to run out and get one after the snow falls. Taking good care of your furnace will ensure that it does the job well throughout the entire season.
It’s also a good idea to set your heat at a steady temperature and try not to move it up and down. This is good not only for your heating bill, but also for your body, as it won’t have to work as hard to keep up with the temp changes. When it gets a bit colder at night, throw some extra blankets on the bed and wear a sweatshirt and thick socks.
Doors, windows, attic spaces, and pipes should all be insulated. For the most part, if you’re fairly handy you can do this yourself. Insulation comes in all types and sizes, however, so head to your local hardware store and ask for help in choosing the right kind. If you’re not feeling it when it comes to doors and windows, an easy fix to stop cold air from piping in is to place tightly rolled towels around the openings. It may not look pretty, but when the goal is to stop warm air from leaking out, sometimes the easiest way is the best. You can also buy plastic to cover the windows with and seal in the heat; you can find kits at the hardware store and the plastic can be removed at any time.
Pipes and hot water heaters should be well-insulated, too, to keep them from freezing up when the weather gets into the deepest cold. You can also run the faucets at a drip to keep them working properly.
Winterizing doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task; simply think about your family’s needs and tackle one thing at a time. Doing it well before winter arrives will give you peace of mind and ensure that you’re ready to settle back with a warm drink by the fire when the first snow falls.
About the Author: Written by Seth Murphy of Papadiy.com. Seth Murphy got into the world of DIY for fun after starting simply to save money. Now, he does it to share tips and advice to help others. Photo Credit: Pixabay by Jill111.
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