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Money Matters Blog

Monday, October 27, 2014

Weatherproof Your Home for the Winter Season

With winter slowly encroaching on us, it’s time to make sure the temperature in the house won’t match the temperature outside! Taking some simple steps to winterize your home before the temperature drops to zero can save you money. You’ll thank yourself later when you receive your gas and electric bills! Here are some quick and easy projects and tips to get you on the road to saving some money during the winter.

Construct a draft snake
(think bolster pillow that sits at the base of your door). You can do it the old fashioned way and roll up a towel, or sew one up yourself and fill it with some heavy fabric or sand for weight. Weather stripping the house will also help you seal gaps in drafty nooks. Updated weather stripping has proved to save homes an average of 10-15% on energy bills. Both of these easy projects will help you divert the drafts from leaking in the doors in your home.

Replace your furnace filter
often during the months you have your heat on. Experts say to replace your furnace filter once a month during the winter months. Dusty filters restrict airflow and will increase the energy demand your home makes to heat it. The genuine HEPA air filters usually give you the most bang for your buck.

Run your ceiling fans in reverse
. While counterclockwise rotations give you cool air in the summer, clockwise rotations in the winter can circulate the warm air that has risen to the top of a room down into the living space.

Check your water heater
before winter starts. First, water heaters can lose a lot of heat through the side walls in the cold months. If you buy an insulating blanket for it, you can reduce the amount of heat lost, and the amount of energy your water heater uses. Next, take a look at how high the water heater is set at. If it’s set anywhere above 120 degrees, chances are you don’t need that much hot water. Bump it down to 120 degrees to save. The last thing you should do before winter is flush your water heater. The sediment and other particles that can accumulate in it will obstruct its efficiency.

Break out the box of old, comfy sweaters. A heavy sweater can be worth roughly 4 degrees. Channel your inner Jimmy Carter and keep extra sweaters and blankets around instead of bumping up the thermostat for more heat.

Clean gutters will allow for free flow of water through the gutters. Before it snows, clean out your gutters to prevent those pesky icicles from forming later.

Do you have any winterizing projects? Share them with us in the comments section below!

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