(BPT) The leaves have changed, temperatures are dropping and pumpkin spice treats abound, which means winter is coming. Now is the time to winterize your home, which can mean up to a 10% savings on your energy bills, according to Energy Star.
Help your home fight the cold, without breaking the bank, by tackling these four DIY-friendly preventative projects.
Seal windows and doors. Check for small cracks and gaps between window frames and doors. These are the spots that allow water, insects and cold air to creep inside. Do this yourself by holding a lit candle or incense stick near the potential leak; if the flame or smoke dances around then you know you have a leak. Protect your home and keep it warm by replacing worn exterior caulk with an exterior grade sealant, like DAP Dynaflex Ultra Advanced Exterior Sealant. Backed by a lifetime mold-, mildew- and algae-resistance guarantee, this sealant uses exclusive WeatherMax Technology for all-weather protection that provides a strong, weatherproof and crack-proof seal to keep out wind, snow, rain and cold air.
Check your furnace filter. Did you know the dirtier your furnace filters are, the harder your furnace has to work? In most homes, filters should be changed monthly throughout the heating season. You should also have your furnace serviced periodically to make sure it is working properly. Not only will regularly changing the filters in your central air and heating system give your wallet a break, but it can also significantly improve your furnace’s efficiency and longevity.
Defend against pests. Avoid issues with mice and other pests trying to stay warm this season by sealing up gaps and cracks inside your garage, attic, basement and under sinks or around pipe and electrical cutouts using Mouse Shield. Specially treated to block mice, birds, bats and tree squirrels, as well as ants, roaches, spiders and bees, the foam also works to seal and insulate to help save on energy costs.
Protect your pipes. Pipes can burst and cost a fortune to replace. Locate pipes in the home that pass through unheated areas, like crawlspaces or basements, and insulate them with foam rubber sleeves. Just cut the sleeve to fit the length of the pipe, wrap it around and secure with duct tape. In extreme cases, put heating tape on first to ensure that the pipe does not freeze. Also, be sure to locate your home’s water shut-off valve just in case a pipe does burst. Better safe than sorry.