When the first snowflake has fallen from the sky, and the weather outside has become cold, these could only mean one thing – winter has come. Before the frost even makes its way through your area, you should already start preparing your homes to keep yourself warm yet adjusted for the upcoming season.
Get a heads up in winter by taking care of certain things found around your house. Here are tips on how to economically and cheaply prepare your home for the winter. These budget boards are relatively cheap, so you are ensured of a great house to spend the winter without shelling out a lot of money.
- Purchase the essentials needed for the winter season
The ice and snow will appear sooner than you are expecting. Hence, it is better to purchase winter essentials as soon as possible if you do not like to brave the first storm just buy such equipment. These gears include shovels and other snow removal gears. If you purchase early, you will be prepared when the first snow falls, and you will not rush to the hardware store at the last minute.
Be sure that you keep your winter essentials in a safe place because you will be needing them again next year. By doing so, you will not be buying the same gears every year. This will surely save you a lot of bucks.
- Ensure that your pipes are protected.
It is a well-known fact among those who are living in places with lower temperatures that frozen pipes often lead to burst pipes. The water pipes burst because the water found inside of them expands as it freezes. Pressure increased inside the tube as the water expands. Too much pressure will rupture the pipe due to too much pressure.
The price of repairing the ruptured pipe is costly, so you should protect your pipes during the winter. To help you protect them from freezing, you have to keep your garage closed during severe weather. This maintains the temperature of the surrounding environment warmer. Moreover, you could use a hair dryer to thaw any pipes that have been frozen. You could also turn off your sprinkler system to avoid the accumulation of too much water on your pipes.
- Change the filters of your furnace.
You could also save a lot more by changing the filters of your furnace before the winter arrives. Since its filter is able to trap dust and dirt, among other small particles, it gets dirty pretty quickly. A clogged filter will let less air to pass through, leading to higher heating expenses. You can consider purchasing a washable and permanent filter that is electrostatic and is able to trap a higher amount of dust and debris. A disposable filter might be cheaper, but it could only catch a lower percentage of dirt.
To ensure the efficiency of your furnace, you should make sure that any furniture does not block the cold air returns.
- Clean your gutters.
Leaves and other detritus accumulate on your gutter. If they are left unattended, they pile up and block the passage of water. The water could back up against your house, damaging your roof, insulation, and siding, among others. Hence, it is essential to remove these detritus before winter comes in order to keep the water in your gutter to flow freely. This will most likely prevent the formation of ice dams which could be dangerous.
Dirty gutters will also cause roof leaks and flooding. Cleaning the gutter is relatively free, and could help you save hundreds of dollars in repairs for the damages to your home caused by uncleaned gutters.
- Reverse the direction of the ceiling fan.
In the summer, we usually keep our houses cooler by using ceiling fans. However, you could also use the same ceiling fan to keep your home warmer when the winter comes. This is done by reversing the direction of your ceiling fan from a counter-clockwise to a clockwise direction. This reverse in direction helps to push the warm air down. This forces the warm air to circulate throughout the room again.
Moreover, pushing the warm air down to the room delays its escape from the house, warming up the whole room. This move also helps you save energy because it might allow you to turn your thermostat down by a degree or two.
- Check the roof.
Before the winter season has arrived, it is necessary to scan your roofs. You could either climb up using a ladder or check it closely utilizing a pair of binoculars. Look for damaged or missing shingles that may cause leakage during the storm or from melting of snow. You could also check breaks that are located around the vent stacks and chimneys. This will help you save money to repair the damages which might be caused by the winter storm.
For those with flat roofs, you could rake off the autumn leaves and pine needles which hold an ample amount of moisture.
- Repair the air leaks.
For a warm and cozy house to spend the winter season at, you should ensure that all air leaks are caulked. Leaks could decrease the energy efficiency of a home by up to 30 percent. To fix the leaks, find all the areas that are letting in the air into your house. Caulk around the holes to prevent cold air from coming in.
For exterior use, utilize a silicone caulk because it will not shrink nor will it allow external variables to penetrate through the holes.
Ergonomic yet straightforward, these tips will surely get the job done without spending some bucks. However, if you are thinking of revamping the interior of your house to suit the winter season without paying too much, you may want to identify several styles of interior and choose among the options the scheme which best suits your preference.
In the end, you only want to have a cozy home to spend your holidays with your family. In doing so, you do not have to shell out a lot of money to prepare a comfortable and warm home for the winter season. All you need are a creative mind, and the spirit to get things done.