Prepping your home for winter is important regardless of where you live but here in the south we’re having a much colder than normal winter so it’s even more important than normal to prep your home for the winter. In order to help you out we found this article with cheap ways to prepare your home for winter. We hope it helps!
Heating costs can throw a wrench into your winter budget ??? and the cold can make you cranky. But you can limit the discomfort by addressing the gaps, cracks and waste that drive up fuel costs. Such fixes are available at a lower price than you might imagine.
Run through this checklist of fixes to make your house cozier and your heating more affordable this year.
Check your home???s exterior doors for cold air leaks. Do this from inside the house. The high-tech approach is to use a laser infrared thermal gun to detect cold drafts. The low-tech way is to move a lit candle around the door frame; the flame will blow toward you when there is a draft.
Seal a drafty door by installing foam or felt weatherstripping inside the door frame. Ask at your hardware store for the correct products and installation instructions.
Cost: $10 to $20 per package for most standard products.
Add attic insulation
Insulation keeps warm air inside in the winter and expensively cooled air inside in the summer.
???Typically, houses in warm-weather states should have an R-38 insulation in the attic, whereas houses in cold climates should have R-49,??? says This Old House, explaining how to install batting-type insulation.
Insulating an attic, basement or crawl space is moderately difficult, and beginners should hire a professional. If you do, ask if you can perform parts of the job to reduce the cost.
Admittedly, insulating is not a cheap job. But the payback can be huge, and you may find rebates and financial incentives. See Energy.gov???s guide to sources and to a calculator to estimate the return on an insulation investment.
Cost: Prices vary, depending on factors such as insulation type, local labor costs and size of the attic.
Set the temperature manually ??? and leave it
You can enjoy fuel savings for free simply by setting your thermostat to one temperature in the morning, another at night and otherwise leaving the thermostat alone. If you???re chilly, put on a sweater and warm socks instead of raising the heat.
Replace furnace filters monthly
Dirty furnace filters reduce furnace efficiency and push up heating bills. They also shorten the life of a furnace.
Check and replace the furnace filter monthly in winter or every three months while the system is in operation. Your owner???s manual will tell you where it???s located. Hold the filter up to the light: If you can???t see light through it, you need a new one.
Pleated filters work best because they trap more dirt particles.
Cost: Prices vary. Angie???s List says filters cost:
$1 each for flat fiberglass
$10 each for pleated and polyester
$25 each for high-efficiency varieties
Insulate the hot water heater
Save on fuel by wrapping older water heaters in a blanket of insulation, an easy DIY project that even a beginner can do. Your utility company has instructions. When insulating a gas or propane water heater, do not cover the burner access.
Do not insulate:
– Pre-insulated water heaters. These are newer units with factory installed insulation of R-16 or better (check the manufacturer???s label) under the metal shell.
– Water heaters located where the added heat is welcome.
– Water heaters whose manual or paperwork warns against insulating.
– Tankless (on-demand) water heaters.
Cost: $20 to $30. Or possibly free: Ask your utility company for any rebates, discounts or freebies. Some utilities offer free insulation and may even install it.