December 10, 2013

Category: Budgeting

Winterize Your Home on a Budget

We all know that winterizing your home can save money on heating and repair bills. But getting to that energy-efficient goal does require an investment. Here are a few cost-saving tips for winterizing your home.
  • Minimize drafts from doors and windows. If you can feel the cool air coming in, then you know your warm air is going out. Adding caulk around window frames can seal drafts. For doors, you can install door sweeps/seals or make your own “draft snake” out of fabric filled with sand for heft.
  • Clean your gutters. Spending a little time on this simple chore can save a lot of money and stress later. In the winter, clogged gutters can fill with ice, which backs up water into your home.
  • Keep an eye on your chimney. Install a protective screen inside your chimney, to prevent birds and foreign objects from getting inside. While it isn’t necessary to have your chimney swept every year, a basic inspection is a good idea.
  • Protect your pipes. A burst water pipe is the nightmare of many homeowners in cold climates. To avoid this concern, wrap your pipes with foam rubber sleeves and cover outside spigots with Styrofoam covers. These supplies are available for a nominal cost at most hardware stores. Finally, if you travel for the holidays, be sure to leave the heat on, set to at least 55 degrees.
  • Insulate your attic. Up to 90 percent of your heat may be lost through the roof if your attic is not sufficiently insulated. The money spent on attic insulation will come back to you many times over in energy cost savings.
  Winter may be a chilly time of year, but it doesn't have to put a freeze on your budget. Simple, inexpensive fixes like the ones above can help keep your home warm and your finances in the black.