The month of October is the perfect time to winterize your home – the weather isn’t too hot, it isn’t too cold, and there’s still lots of daylight. Spend a weekend evaluating where in your home you might have energy leaks-- and plug them up before they cost you big time in upcoming months. Read on for five easy tips that will save you hundreds of dollars this upcoming winter.
5 Ways to Winterize Your Home
1. For Drafts around Doors & Windows. Those pesky drafts are everywhere, and are often responsible for upwards of 20% of your energy bill! Forget the home shows that would suggest getting rid of drafts requires a contractor or pricey new technical gizmos. Instead, hit your local hardware store for a few tubes of caulk and some easy-to-use weatherstripping. With a few dollars worth of materials, you can save hundreds on energy bills with just a few hours of work.
2. Exterior Vents. Wherever you have a vent leading out of the house (dryers, telephone, electrical, cable, gas, water lines), you have huge potential for energy-draining gaps and leaks. Behold, an easy to use caulk gun! It’s a top notch asset in any frugal household, and – let’s face it – the kids think you look totally cool when you pull one of these out and put it to work. You'll hear something like, “Look... Mom’s fixing that hole in the house with a big tube of toothpaste!” If it saves big energy costs and entertains the kids, that’s a win-win in my book.
3. Clean out your air/furnace filters. The windows are about to stay shut for months, and the furnace is about to go into overdrive. Keep your air quality high (and the workload on your furnace as low as possible) by keeping the filters changed on a regular basis.
Related: 10 Ways to Make Your Home COZY
4. Wrap your pipes! It sounds like a boring chore (and let’s face it, it is). Trust me on this though, experience has shown me time and again that it pays off huge as soon as we have our first deep freeze. Where the neighbors will have frozen pipes (or even worse, burst frozen pipes), you’ll have running water and far fewer mornings with a hair dryer trained on a ceiling pipe in the basement.
5. Buy a sweater! Looking for a frugal investment that costs $5 and can save you up to $500 (or more!) in the three months of winter? Behold, a fabulous, thick, gorgeous designer sweater, purchased for 95% off at your local consignment or thrift store. Even in the coldest winter days to come, wearing a heavy sweater keeps your body comfortably warm even if you turn the heat down by as much as 5 degrees. That kind of lower house/office temperature translates into huge savings when the winter energy bills roll in.
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Kristen Hagopian is a Syndicated Radio Talk Show Host, Syndicated Columnist, Motivational Speaker & Author of “Brilliant Frugal Living." The Kristen Hagopian Show airs Nationwide via Business Talk Radio Network. She resides in Chester County, PA with her husband and two kids. You can find her online at www.BrilliantFrugalLiving.com.