10 Affordable DIY Winterizing Projects
pankration / Getty Images/iStockphoto
When you’re still in the middle of summer, it can be hard to think about the cold winter months, but planning ahead is key to saving money. Winterizing your home helps you keep the heat in, prevent water and cold air leaks, and hopefully keep your energy bill down.
Save more: Back-to-school tips to help cut costs
Be Aware: This Credit Score Mistake Could Cost Americans Millions
You don’t need to hire a contractor to complete these 10 affordable winterization projects.
Seal your doors
Restoration1 franchise owner Steve Elliott pointed out that the area around exterior doors is a leading cause of air leaks in homes. “Close the door and rub your palm around the edges where it meets the door frame. If you feel cold air coming through your door, you need to increase the insulation,” he said.
Fortunately, repairing air leaks in your doors is one of the least expensive winterizing measures you can take. For most doors, you can purchase foam seal strips at your local hardware store in a variety of sizes. Elliott advises that you first clean the door frame where the weatherstripping will be installed, then cut the foam to the required lengths.
It’s as easy as putting on a bandage after that: position the weatherstripping against the door frame and slowly peel off the protective film before pressing the sticky side against the door frame.
Insulate your water heater
A quick and easy winterizing project is to insulate your water heater tank, said Melanie Hartmann, owner of Creo Home Buyers in Baltimore, which rehabs property in Maryland for resale and rental.
“A simple insulation wrap can be purchased at any home improvement store and it only takes a few minutes to install. The wrap means less energy used to maintain the desired temperature, which saves on energy costs, especially when the heater is located in a cold basement. »
Take our survey: What’s the table time limit for a $400 restaurant meal?
Replace furnace filter and humidifier pad
Bill Samuel, licensed general contractor and residential real estate developer at Blue Ladder Development, recommended that you install a new furnace filter before winter begins.
“As you replace the filter, spend about a minute looking around the furnace to make sure you don’t hear any strange noises, see any leaks, or see flashing lights that could indicate a problem. You’ll want to make sure the system is in peak condition before you head into winter,” he said.
Also, Samuel suggested that you replace a new humidifier pad if you have one installed on your furnace. “After installing the new pad, you’ll want to set the off button to around 40-50% humidity.”
Fasten roof shingles
Dataha Santomieri, co-founder and vice president of national insurance agency Steadily, urged homeowners to find and replace cracked, missing or damaged shingles to prevent roof leaks.
“Falling tree branches, high winds and harsh weather can all damage shingles. While you are cleaning your gutters on your roof, you might as well check the condition of your shingles. It’s a cheap but essential way to winterize your home for cold weather.
Check gutters and downspouts
Make sure your gutters and downspouts are clear to prevent water damage to your roof, said Marty Ford, president of BulletpRoof Roof Systems Ltd. “If your gutters are full of leaves and other debris, water can back up and damage your roof.”
Trim trees and shrubs
You should regularly prune trees and shrubs near your home, Ford said. Overhanging branches can damage your roof in high winds.
Cover pipe fittings
Additionally, Ford recommends covering all exposed pipe fittings. “Pipe connections are often located on the roof and can be vulnerable to freezing in cold weather. So, be sure to cover them with an insulating material like foam or tape.
Add insulation to your attic
Not many people know that one of the cheapest ways to winterize your home is to make sure your attic won’t leak heated air from your home, which will affect your energy costs, says Stefan Bucur. , founder and co-owner of Rhythm of le Foyer with his wife.
“A quick and reliable DIY project is to add insulation board between the wooden eaves of your roof. You can find fiberglass board at most hardware stores…and all you have to do is add them under your roof. For small cracks, you can caulk any crevices that might leak heat. Even with just one extra layer of insulation, you can make a huge difference in winterizing your attic.
Seal window gaps
Myrtle Marie, DIY expert at DIYWithMyGuy, says you can save money on your energy bill with just a few key steps.
“One of the best and most affordable ways is to seal cracks or gaps near windows or doors for insulation. You can also apply weather stripping to these areas as well as new caulking around windows and doors that have gaps. We have also had success using window insulation kits. »
Ford added that you can also get a reliable pair of insulated curtains for less than $90.
Clear the sidewalks
Finally, it is also important to take preventive measures to clear the sidewalks. This includes properly pre-treating areas before a storm and snow removal to help keep your home’s sidewalks free of ice and snow buildup, which can help prevent slips and falls.
More from GOBankingRates