DIY Home Winterizing Projects
Polar vortex, be gone! With some of the coldest winter weather in history shattering temps and chilling us to the bone, one of the most productive weekend projects you can invest your time and money into will be winterizing your home. Not only does home winterization help you streamline your operating expenses, but it makes your home more energy efficient and better for the environment. So how do you do it?
1. Check Your Home for Air Leaks
To determine where you’re losing heat, simply light an incense stick and slowly walk around your home. Take note of anywhere the smoke is streaking, which is ultimately causing a draft. Pay particular attention to areas near doors, windows, attics and basements, as these are common culprits of cold air.
2. Take a Trip to the Hardware Store
Foam Weather Stripping – If you determine the leak to be coming from the gaps between the window and the frame or door and the frame, foam weather stripping is a great solution. Easy to install, just remove the sticky backing and cut it to the length you need.
Spray Insulation– Perfect for filling cracks around plumbing or electrical outlets, spray insulation can be purchased fairly inexpensively from your local hardware store.
Recaulk the Windows – Though a larger undertaking, recaulking the windows is one of the most impactful ways of insulating a home. Over time wood can warp and rot, and the older your home is, the more likely it is letting moisture in and helping heat escape. You’ll need a caulking gun, sealer, putty knife, old rags, and a steady hand, but it is an easy DIY project.
3. Invest in an Electric Fireplace
A great source of supplemental heat, freestanding electric stoves or wall mounted electric fireplaces are a great way to save money on zone heating by allowing you to turn down the central thermostat and only heat the rooms you spend the most time in. Electric fireplaces cost only about 8-12 cents an hour to operate, ultimately reducing your monthly energy bill by up to 10 percent.
You should also consider replacing your existing gas or wood fireplace with an electric log set. It’s been estimated that up to 60% of heat is lost through the chimney, so you’d not only be saving money, but also the hassle and mess of cleaning up smoke and ashes.
You don’t need a lot of tools or expertise to make your home feel cozier this winter, but take some time this weekend to make home winterization a priority for the new year and new you.
Guest post provided by Lauren Monitz of ElectricFireplacesDirect.com, the #1 online source for electric fireplaces and a major distributor of Twin-Star brand products.