Time to take advantage of the nice cooler days to prep your home for the winter months. Some things seem obvious such as, cleaning out your gutters of fallen leaves. However, insulating your home is not as easy to check for, but it is even more important.
Check out our top 5 ways to winter-proof your home:
- Re-caulk around your windows and doors.
Leaks in the caulking slowly allow cold air to seep into your home, costing homeowners up to 30% more a year! To figure out if your doorways or windows need re-caulking try the incense test!
Take a lit match or incense, slowly move the stick so the smoke hovers around your windows and doors. Where the smoke wavers, you have air from the outside sneaking in.
Re-caulking or touching up the caulking around these area can help keep cold air where it belongs; outside.
- Change your thermostat
Take a look at your thermostat, when was the last time you updated it? It is still a doorknob-esque machine on your wall? Probably time for an upgrade. Smart thermostats are a great way to save energy and keep your home in top-notch condition going into the winter months. Some intrinsically know when you’re not at home, so it automatically lowers the temperature when you’re not there – slashing dollar on your heating bills. Programmable thermostats are more accurate as well, creating a better heating environment.
- Check for leaks on your roof
Roofs need to be looked at yearly, but they **should** be completely replaced every 20 years. A leaky roof will run water into the insulation. Once the insulation is wet and disintegrating, warm air sneaks out and cold air is welcomed in.
Using preventative maintenance on your roof each fall, can help prolong the life of your shingles. The average cost of completely redoing your roof is upwards of $6,000! Use this time in fall to look at your roof, repair any leaks or holes to save on your heating bill in the process.
- Insulate your pipes
This useful, yet often overlooked, step is one of the most cost-effective ways to prep your home for the colder temperatures. The conduits running the unheated areas of your home need to be insulated. Without this, you are sending unnecessary heat to those areas (think attic, basement, or unused rooms).
** Fire safety alert: never place insulation within 3 feet of the main heating system, exhaust flus, or any other high heat area!
- Update your insulation
Last but definitely not least, updating your insulation.
I know, I know I can hear the groans THROUGH the computer screen. Think about it though. When was your house built? When have you even thought about the insulation inside the walls? Ever have a mouse problem? Don’t be surprised if they buried their little feet and babies inside the insulation of your home. This rips and tears away at your hard-working heating.
Here’s a good test to see if you need to update your insulation. On a particularly brisk day – go outside and touch an exterior wall of your home. If it feels warm (too warm), precious heat is sneaking out and heating up those exterior walls. Not good.
A home can lose 35% of its heat through walls and 25% through the attic and roof. Before you go trying to update the windows, remember that insulation has 3x greater impact than window updates. Updating your insulation can be expensive but in the long run will cut your heating bills a sizeable amount.
Winter is a tough time of year for everyone. Mentally and physically – it’s exhausting. Don’t let those feelings show through with your home as well.
We were inspired by these articles below. Take a look for some more detailed info.