How to Winterize Your Home for Maximum Energy Savings

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Fall is here, and winter is just around the corner! Amidst plans for Halloween costumes, pumpkin carving, family dinners, and all things pumpkin spice, it’s time to winterize your home before the cold sets in. There is always plenty to keep you busy during the winter holiday season, so it’s best to prepare for the weather changes ahead of time so you can stay cozy and comfortable in your home through the end of the year. Like the fall rituals of raking leaves and cleaning gutters, there are equally, if not more, important steps to take to keep your home in good shape for winter.

Maintaining proper insulation is good to do year-round to reduce heat loss, and it’s especially important during the winter. If you’re winterizing your home, you have to plug air leaks. You don’t want warm air getting out, and you certainly don’t want cold air creeping in. You can help to prevent this through weather stripping. Weather stripping also prevents rain and water from getting into places it shouldn’t and causing damage. If you have outside water faucets, you will want to get Styrofoam insulator covers. You can find inexpensive ones at the hardware store, and they can be worth a dollar for every dime spent on them. They prevent the water inside the spout from freezing and the water pipes from breaking, which could cost thousands of dollars, or at least your insurance deductible plus a ton of headaches.

Programmable thermostats are affordable luxuries that every home should have. It’s the climate equivalent to the time-setting function on a coffee pot that makes it possible to have your coffee made fifteen minutes before you wake up. So when you wander blurry-eyed into the kitchen, you’re greeted by the fresh aroma of a steaming pot of morning goodness. With a programmable thermostat, you can begin heating your house half an hour before you arrive home so that it’s nice and toasty when you get in. This is a staple creature comfort for any home, and if you don’t already have one, it’s time to get with the program. (We recommend the programmable coffee pot too, if you don’t already have one.)

It’s also important to make sure that your car is ready for winter. That means checking the oil, the coolant, and the battery capacity, among other things. You always want to stay on top of these, but even more so in the winter. You don’t want to find yourself pulled off the road having car troubles when it’s freezing outside and all you want is to get where you’re going. Depending on the climate where you live, preparations for extreme weather conditions can call for snow tires and chains as well, so make sure to be prepared. It’s also wise to keep an emergency kit in your trunk that includes a wool blanket.

By taking measures to winterize, you not only save money and energy, you save time for enjoying what is important to you during the winter. So whether you’re snuggling up to a warm pot of coffee in the morning or enjoying a football game from your living room, you won’t need to worry about the things you took care of in the fall.

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