From drafty doorways to inefficient insulation, there are more than a few ways for heat to escape your home during the frigid winter months.
In fact, homes that haven’t been winterized or weather-stripped properly can have air leaks, which account for up to 30-40 percent of a home’s overall heating and air loss.
You can stop wasting that warmth with a little planning and a few simple fixes before Old Man Winter settles in for the season. Take a look:
A few extra tips to help you weather the winter:
Change your furnace filters frequently. Clogged filters reduce airflow through the heating/cooling system, forcing the unit to work harder and less efficiently. Most furnace filters are inexpensive, disposable and easily replaced.
Wrap tree trunks to avoid frost cracking. This prevents damage to thin-barked species in winter when sun-warmed sap quickly freezes at nightfall and causes the bark to split. Use paper tree wrap, staring an inch below soil level and up to the lowest branches. Adhere with duct tape and remove in the spring.
Consider a backup generator. When using generators, be sure to keep the unit outdoors in a well-ventilated area. As the carbon monoxide produced by the engine can be deadly, the units should never be run inside a home or enclosed area. Use a carbon monoxide detector to protect your family members.
Prepare a winter storm survival kit. Avoid the rush when severe weather hits by stocking up in advance on the products needed to survive the storm. Create a winter storm survival kit for around $100 and keep everyone safe at home, especially during power outages.
- First Aid Kit (About $20)
- Flashlight or 12-hour safety light stick (About $10)
- Batteries (About $10)
- Two-way radio with weather band (About $35)
- Snow Shovel (About $20)
- De-icer Windshield Fluid (About $3)
- Ice melt (About $9)
You can also click here for a winterization checklist for your home.