cold couple next to heater

Hone Your Homeowner Skills by Prepping for Winter

By Lacey Frazier
Updated
Published

So homeownership isn't all it was cracked up to be. Let me guess? unexpected costs? Nonstop repairs? Who signed up for this adulting thing anyway? Well, the responsibilities are about to become #real if you live in a state where winter has a mind of its own. Don't fret! I've got the DL on some #adulting101 - here are a few steps you can take to prevent repairs caused by the cold.

Swerve the Draft

DYK that according to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, drafts can waste 5%-30% of your energy use. That's energy and $$$! If your home's windows and/or door seals have a draft, a quick and cheap solution is to create a "draft snake." To create a draft snake, simply take a tightly rolled up towel and place it in the drafty areas. This will prevent cool air from entering your house and heat from escaping - ergo, reducing your heating bill. Scared of snakes? Take it to the next level and seal the air leaks with spray foam or weather stripping - it's just a Prime delivery away.

Tip: If you go the expanding foam route, don't take it too far! That stuff seriously expands. I recommend a quick dry run before foaming the real deal.

Remove Hoses from Exterior Spigots

My dad gave me this advice when I bought my first home (dads know all). But don't just take it from my dad, take it from someone who works in facilities for a living "Removing your hoses from exterior spigots often gets overlooked, and it's kind of a big deal!" said Joel Elsea Director of Facilities at CURO Financial Technologies Corp. "Unless you're interested in having an unplanned indoor pool in your basement, it's a really good idea to remove the hoses before you have a hard freeze. It costs nothing, takes seconds to do, and you avoid potentially thousands in damages if you forget and your pipes freeze and crack allowing gallons of water into your home."

Insulate Your Home & Windows

Don't let your insulation get ratchet! It could increase your heating bill as much as 20%. Indoor and outdoor window insulation kits are available for just a few bucks at most hardware stores. Adding this buffer against escaping heat is very cost-efficient.

Clean Your Gutters

Your gutters collect all kinds of gross debris... leaves, sticks, and who knows what ended up there the last time you and the squad got turned up. So what happens when all of that stuff freezes? An epic mess (not to mention potential and possibly expensive damage to your home). While it's not a glamorous gig, spending an afternoon or evening cleaning your gutters out can prevent damage. Don't forget to also remove debris from the downspout.

Tip: If you're like me and can't handle gross outdoor smells, try wearing a disposable face mask (you know, the kind they wear at hospitals). Trust me on this one, your gag reflex will thank you.

Show Your Heater Some Love

Regardless of the heating system you have in your house, it's a best practice to have your heater inspected prior to turning it on. Yep, just like a car, the better condition your heater is in, the better it will run - avoiding break-downs and repair costs.

Use those Ceiling Fans

Annoyed by the fact that bae can only sleep with a fan on no matter what season it is? Well, bae's got it right! During the winter, running the ceiling fan can actually save on heat. Most ceiling fans have a switch that reverses the direction the blades go. Putting the fan in the clockwise setting will push warm air down and fill the room with warmer air. According to Del Mar Fans & Lighting, this cost-free, flip-of-a-switch tip could save you up to 15% on your heating costs.1

Sources:
1Bermudez, M. (n.d.). What Direction Should a Ceiling Fan Turn? . Retrieved from Delmarfans.com: https://www.delmarfans.com/educate/basics/what-is-the-proper-ceiling-fan-direction/

The information included in this article has been reviewed and approved by Joel D. Elsea Director of Facilities at CURO Financial Technologies Corp.

About
Lacey Frazier
Read more from Lacey
Growing up in a family with four very active and involved kids, money was often tight. I was raised to be smart with money by picking up tips on how to spend wisely, pinching pennies where I can, and finding good deals. I love a glass of good wine and a plate of greasy tacos as much as I enjoy sharing the lowdown on getting the most out of every hard-earned dollar. Cheers!

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