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How to Save Money by Winterizing Your Home
Winter is the season for cold weather. As snow flutters through the air
and lakes turn to ice, it is important to know how to winterize a home
to prevent damage and save on energy bills. An emergency repair on a burst
water pipe can cost you an arm and a leg and cracks in your window panes,
crooked doors, and insufficient insulation all contribute to your heater
working harder than it should. With heating costs on the rise, it is too
expensive to heat your home and the great outdoors.
Tips on How to Winterize a Home on a Budget
Insulate any exposed water pipes and spigots to prevent freezing and
bursting. You can use foam pipe insulation that is cut on one side with
taped adhesive so it can be easily applied and sealed around exposed pipe.
Spigot covers are available at your local hardware store, but simply wrapping
the spigot in an old towel and securing it with duct tape will do the
trick when you’re in a pinch.
- Close all of your foundation vents. These vents stay open to keep
the air flowing during the warmer months, but need to be closed during
the winter to protect your plumbing and prevent warm air loss to your
attic. If you’d like to check this off the list for next year,
automatic foundation vents will do the job for you and are available
for around $10 a piece.
- Caulking the cracks in your window panes prevents warm air from leaking
outdoors. Also add caulk around each of your door frames and window
panes to stop cold air from seeping inside. In addition, you might consider
a spray foam product for larger cracks or for gaps where holes are cut
for utilities to pass through.
- Cover all of your windows with plastic. You can purchase kits that
include self-adhesive plastic sheets at most home and garden supply
stores for approximately $15 to cover an estimated six standard size
- Fix drafts by using a door sealer that slides across the bottom edge
of the doors. You can find these sock-like sleeves at home supply stores
for approximately $5 each. Or, you can save money by making your own
using a free pattern online along with half a yard of cloth and some
- Control the thermostat. In the winter months, you should leave your
thermostat set to 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the day when you are
at home, and to 65 at night or when you are at work. By decreasing the
thermostat for 8 hours at a time, you are reducing your heating costs
by 10 percent.
- Insulate your attic. If you have an attic, it should be insulated
to prevent heat loss. Hot air rises, and a non-insulated attic will
cause your heating costs to skyrocket.
Portable Electric Heaters
There is nothing like a warm and cozy fire crackling in the fireplace,
but they are far less efficient than they are romantic. A portable heater
is a much more cost-effective way to stay warm this winter. An electric
heater uses much less energy to heat a small space compared to a heat
pump or furnace that is heating an entire house. You can save big by turning
that thermostat way down and just heating the spaces where you spend most
of your time. Choose a heater that has been regulated for safety purposes
and tested for leaks. If you have a used heater that is questionable,
it is best to purchase a new heater. You can find a good quality, safe
electric heater for approximately $40 at most hardware or home and garden
With the use of indoor heaters, it is important to take note of carbon
monoxide poisoning. One way to make sure you and your family are not poisoned
this year is to install carbon monoxide detectors. You can find these
in the home and garden department along with the smoke alarms. Some of
the latest versions of smoke alarms also have carbon monoxide detecting
Knowing how to winterize your home is crucial in preventing unnecessary
damage from frozen pipes to cracked glass panes. It is also important
if you want to save money on your annual energy costs.