Keeping Your Home Winter Ready
Battling the winter season is a yearly tradition in Canada, but even though it can be a tough fight, we still love it. As the temperature plummets the electricity bills skyrocket, especially if you haven’t properly prepared your home for the frigid weather. Along with managing your thermostat here are some Cost Effective Tips for Winterizing Your Home.
Check the Attic
Wandering into the attic probably isn’t a normal occurrence for you, but it definitely should be done at least once a year. Checking the attic to make sure the insulation in the attic hasn’t been disturbed by any intruding animals can help insure that heat isn’t escaping through your roof. If your attic (above the insulation) is warm then you may have an air leak and you are paying to heat a part of your home that no one lives in.
Sectioning off parts of your home that aren’t regularly used can help reduce your heating bill. Taper the heating vents to the sectioned off room and close the door. The temperature difference between the secluded room and the rest of the house may now cause a slight draft. Adding a draft guard to the bottom of the door is a cheap way of winterizing your home.
Weatherstripping and Caulking
As the cold wind blows outside any gaps in your home’s thermal envelope will be quickly exposed. These draughts and air leaks will continually increase your heating bill. These problems can easily be taken care of with some weatherstripping tape and a tube of caulking. Simply apply the tape around the interior window and doors to block escaping heat and intruding cold.
Maintain your Water Heater
Your water heater is going to be working harder than Rocky Balboa before he fought Ivan Drago during the winter months, so maintaining it is important. Over the year, sediment and particles will collect in the bottom of the tank. As the silt builds up it decreases the efficiency of your heating unit and it won’t take long for it to show up on the electricity bill.
If you have a chimney that isn’t in use it is likely that your are losing heat up through the shaft. Inserting and inflating a specialized balloon on the chimney will help stop warm air from escaping and ‘cap’ the chimney more cost effectively.
Check your Furnace
Getting your ducts cleaned is a little more expensive but will definitely be worth it. Removing any dirt and debris from the ducts is both good as a safety precaution and good for furnace efficiency, this is also a good time to replace the air filters.
Do you have any cost effective tips for winterizing your home? Feel free to share them with us!