Colder weather often means a big change in your energy bills. How can you tame your winter bills and keep your cool this winter? A few strategic preparations can help.
Preparing your home for the winter can help save you money and keep cozy all season.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Most thermostats these days offer basic functions for cooling and heating, plus options for scheduling and more. Set your thermostat to run warmer during the time you’re home, and to turn off when you’re away. Why keep the house cozy when no one’s around to enjoy it?
Choose Energy Star Appliances
Hunting for a new appliance? Look for the Energy Star emblem to help ensure that your appliances are energy efficient. Need help? Head to Energy Star’s Product Finder to make the hunt even simpler.
Check Your Weather Stripping
Around every door and window of your home is weather stripping – metal or rubber sealing that seals gaps in the frame. When weather stripping wears out or gets damaged, it can mean losing energy and even getting a draft in your home. You can even apply weather stripping indoors around your air conditioners and other drafty spaces. Find weather stripping at a local hardware store and make this an easy weekend DIY.
Stow Lawn Equipment
Frigid temperatures can mean bad news for lawn mowers and other lawn equipment. Place items in storage and help prevent rust and other issues by oiling gears and covering with weather-protecting tarps.
Check Your Chimney
Nothing says “winter” like a cozy fire. Ensure that your chimney works properly by cleaning it out and maintaining it during non-winter months. Remember that sometimes critters find chimneys to be a nice place to call home, so cleaning it out can help avoid problems with wildlife.
Check Drains and Gutters
Gutters and drains that are clogged with fallen leaves can leave winter stormwater and ice with nowhere to go. The result can be water collecting in places it shouldn’t, which can lead to foundation problems in the future. Clean your gutters at the start of winter to help maximize efficiency.
Shut Down Sprinkler Systems
The grass isn’t growing in winter, so keep your sprinklers turned off to save water. If you have outdoor faucets for garden hoses or water features, keep them turned off as well. Be sure to let them drip during ice storms, as outdoor pipes can burst the same way indoor pipes can.
Check Your Trees
Have a tree near your house or a neighbor’s? Trim it down before winter arrives. If snowstorms are common in your area, you want to avoid heavy weight on branches that could break and damage property. Proper maintenance can avoid a big disaster (and unexpected expenses) later.
When cold weather strikes, save money with these budget-friendly tips! Need a little help making an unexpected, emergency home repair?
Learn more about borrowing money for repairs in When You Should & Shouldn’t Take an Online Loan.