As the cold snap begins here in the Great Lakes many have begun winterizing their homes, and I thought I would share some tips on how to effectively winterize your home – and help you save money in the long run. Winter heating of a home or apartment is one of the costliest utilities… and depending on your home or apartment it can cost you almost as much as your house payment or rent itself – so winterizing your home is important.
One of the best options for winterizing windows is getting double pane windows, but for those that can’t afford that or live in a situation where they can’t change out their windows you luckily have other options. There are window insulator kits that are relatively inexpensive and easy to install that stop drafts from coming through the windows as well as add an extra buffer to stop the cold windows from cooling the air temperature of your room. For extra drafty windows I recommend also adding either weather sealing tape for small cracks and foam tape for larger cracks. There are also many thermal curtains available that are helpful in both summer and winter, look great, and even blackout light from coming in at night.
Doors are just like windows, except you can’t add plastic insulation kits to them because you need to walk through them. They sell Door Draft Stopper kits that have everything you need to stop the drafts through your doors. These kits include foam tape. Draft Guards are great for Doors with a large crack between the bottom of the door and the floor. For patio doors they sell film insulation kits to help seal your door off if you don’t intend on using it in the winter.
Heat is one of the most expensive utilities out there. Having a good programmable thermostat is key. They have higher end ones with seven-day schedules and lower end ones that allow don’t have as much flexibility in the programming.
For those that can afford it, I have a friend that has a NEST Learning Thermostat. The thing is awesome and over the last year has paid for itself in heating and cooling. The Thermostat checks the forecast and adjusts when it turns itself on and off according to the temperature so its warm when he gets home, or cool in the summer.. He can change the thermostat from his phone if he is heading home from work late or early. It also has an occupancy sensor, monitors your usage patterns and helps make suggestions on how to save energy. It’s a bit expensive, but he said it paid for itself in the first year of him owning it.