Believe it or not, winter is nearly upon us already! After an all-too-short summer, a hopefully gorgeous autumn is upon us, and soon we can look forward to the first snowflakes of the season drifting down from above. It’s that time to winterize your home so that you can hunker down in its warmth for the next four to six months – unless you’re a winter sports fan.
Here are a few tips that may help to keep winter outside while keeping a little more money in your wallet.
1. One inexpensive way to keep the warmth inside of the home is to caulk the gaps around windows and doors. The only investment would be a caulk gun (it doesn’t have to be fancy), and a few tubes of window and door caulk. Most just caulk the gaps on the outside of the doors and windows (make sure to use outdoor caulk there), but gaps also exist under the interior trim. Pop the trim off and plug those gaps. Use low-expansion spray foam insulation as an alternative to caulk. The emphasis here is low-expansion. High-expansion foam insulation will actually bow window and door jambs as it expands.
2. Remember to replace the furnace filter to keep the furnace running efficiently. Replacing the filter at least every three months is ideal, but don’t be afraid to change it more frequently.
3. Go to the local hardware store, or even most department stores, and buy some insulating gaskets for around the outlets and switches in your home. A surprising amount of air comes in through these little holes. Simply pop off the outlet or switch plate and put the insulator under the plate. The process is pretty self-explanatory once you see them.
4. While at the store, pick up a door sweep for under the exterior doors if they don’t have one or the existing one is worn out. A surprising amount of cold air comes in under your doors.
5. Something most people can’t believe is how much warm air literally goes right up the chimney. Buy a chimney balloon to stop air from escaping. Ask your local home improvement store about them.
6. Don’t forget to clean out your gutters before the weather turns frigid. Clogged gutters cause water to pool up and icicles to form which could cause a host of other issues.
Nobody likes to think that winter is literally a month or maybe two, at the most, away. Get your home ready now before it gets dark early and the cold sets in!