It may not have the same appeal as making snowmen or sledding down a hill, but winterizing your home is still an important part of the winter season.
While Mother Nature prepares to unleash a barrage of rain, wind, sleet and snow, homeowners have the chance to ready themselves and, in the process, add value to their homes and pocketbooks. Getting your house into tip-top shape before winter will drastically cut down on energy costs while simultaneously making your dwelling a much more valuable piece of property.
Of course, it often costs money to make money, and winterizing your home is no exception. Luckily there are plenty of ways to winterize your home without having to empty your bank account in the process. Check out the following tips and tricks to get the most out of your home on a budget.
All that wonderful hot air you try to fill your home with during winter is in danger of escaping from the cracks and crevices throughout your house. Doors and windows are the most obvious offenders, with the frames surrounding them offering just enough space for hot air to escape. You can buy a caulking gun at your local hardware store and seal these up in a hurry. As far as air ducts go, foil tape works wonders. Don't forget that hot air rises, so if you want to make sure it stays where it’ll keep you warm, invest in some insulation for your attic.
Cleaning your rain gutters can be a pain after trees unleash their leaves in the fall, but making sure your gutters are empty will ensure that no ice dams build up due to clogs, helping to keep cold water from seeping into your home. As far as water heaters go, you can buy a water heater insulation blanket at your local hardware store to ensure you’re not wasting energy. Finally, it’s a good idea to make sure your water pipes are insulated. Freezing temperatures can lead to bursting pipes, which are both costly and inconvenient.
Purchasing an automatic thermostat is an inexpensive way to ensure energy efficiency in your home. Automatic thermostats can be programmed to turn on or off depending on when you’re home, as well as when a certain temperature is reached. An even easier trick to keep your house toasty is reversing the direction of your ceiling fans so warm air is pushed down.
Of course, some winterizing projects may require more work than a quick trip to the hardware store, especially for older homes. Specialized home loans are available for when you need some extra help. Shop around and look into taking out a home equity loan. After all, your home is more than just a place where you live, it’s an investment for you and your family.