October 20, 2015

It’s time to winterize your home

We’re more than half way through October and the weather is happy to let us know! Although some of us may still be seeing a bit of sunshine throughout the day, it’s definitely not warm and the cold, dark mornings are a telling sign that winter is coming. And it’s coming fast!

Autumn and winter are beautiful seasons; the color of the leaves, the freshness of the air and the sparkle of frost are just a few of the things we look forward to when fall begins. However, they can also be the most expensive seasons when it comes to paying bills! As the mornings and evenings drop in temperature many of us will start turning our heating on more than once a day – and the more you turn your heating on, the more you’ll notice a difference in the price of your bills.

But don’t panic! The harshest of weather has yet to arrive so there’s still time to winterize your home – you’ll be keeping your family warm and toasty without breaking the bank on energy bills. Here are a few things you can do to make your house more energy efficient for the winter…

Find the drafts – you’re likely to find drafts around your home underneath doors and near windows. Drafts can waste 5-30% of your energy use! If you find an air leak underneath a door all you need to do is put a ‘draft snake’ along the bottom of it – a simple, rolled up towel will work perfectly. If you have drafts near your windows, get some weather-resistant caulk and caulk them from the outside – it won’t take long and you’ll be thankful you did it when the cold weather really sets in.

Insulate – when was the last time you checked your insulation? Simply adding more in your attic can boost the energy efficiency of your home massively. You need a minimum of 12 inches of insulation in your attic and if you’re adding new insulation to your current insulation, make sure it doesn’t have a paper-backing as this can cause problems with vapour later on.

Clean your gutters – clogged gutters can cause ice dams on your roof and lead to melted snow seeping in to your house which will cause water damage. Cleaning out the dead leaves and other bits and pieces from your gutters means water can drain freely and won’t freeze in them. This can save you a lot of money as water damage is not cheap to repair.

Wrap your pipes – this can reduce heat loss and raise hot water temperatures through your pipes which means you can reduce the heat on your boiler (and save money on your gas bill by doing so!). Wrapping your pipes with insulation will also help prevent them from freezing during really cold nights. You can get pre-slit pipe foam at most hardware stores – simply cut the foam to the length you need, wrap it around the pipe, and fasten it in place with duct tape.

Put some extra clothes on! – one of the easiest ways to save money on your energy bills is to put on extra layers whilst you’re in the house. A heavy sweater/jumper adds about 4 degrees of warmth to your body – and you’ll add even more if you sit with a hot chocolate and cosy blanket on the couch too!

Do you have any other ways you winterize your home every year to keep your energy bills down? Leave us a comment below to let us know…


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