5 Cost-Effective Ways to Winterize the Home
Preparing a home for winter doesn't have to cost a fortune or take hours on end to complete. However, failing to winterize the home can cost owners quite a bit of hassles and a great deal of money due to freezing temperatures and energy losses due to inefficiencies. Here are five simple and cost effective ways to winterize the home for energy efficiency and comfort.
1. Clean the Water Heater, Reduce Temps or Go Tankless
Upon installation, most home improvement contractors will set the temperature on hot water heaters to about 140-degrees Fahrenheit. Realistically, this temperature is too hot for the average homeowner and not only can cause scalding burns, but the excessive temps can increase heating costs by up to 10 percent. Furthermore, this can cause excessive calcification in the bottom of the tank, so it's recommended to drain the tank prior to winter so the device functions properly at full capacity.
However, those who want a more efficient and modern option all year long can consider installing a tankless water heater that produces hot water on demand, which can cut energy use substantially. Go one step further by investing in a solar tankless water heater and enjoy current tax credits for solar based home improvements.
2. Tune Up the Heating System
The worst time for the HVAC system or a furnace to break down is in the middle of a cold winter. Avoid the discomfort and potential repercussions of lacking essential heat by making sure that the entire HVAC system and related devices are in peak performance condition. A local heating and cooling professional can typically clean and inspect Oakland TN home systems very affordably and make any recommendations for repairs in necessary. A clean and lubricated system will not only keep occupants warm, but it can reduce energy costs by up to five percent overall.
3. Winterize Water and Air Conditioning Lines
To prevent freezing water in A/C lines and water lines, one must make a few simple changes as the cooler weather sets in.Remove any water from air conditioner pipes and hoses, and check for any pooled water within them. Go ahead and turn off any exterior water spigots or A/C units valves, as homeowners don't typically need them operational during winter. This is also a good time to seal any type of water leaks that may have become apparent during the summer and fall.
4. Add a Buffer to Windows
An excellent way to winterize the home without the need for costly window replacements is to add some inexpensive plastic film to the inside panes. While clear plastic window kits are popular, there are also decorative films that can spruce up curb appeal, too. However, those looking for a superior year round option that helps reduce cold drafts in winter while reducing sun glare in summer should consider having Low-E window tint applied to the glass. The home will hold heat and cold much better with these options.
5. Boost Home Insulation Inside and Out
Another easy way to winterize the home is to make sure that there is ample insulation in any attic spaces, basement ceilings, between walls and also adequately wrapped around exterior water pipes that tend to rupture when frozen. Not only will this improve home energy efficiency in the winter, but insulation will increase comfort levels during those hot summers. Furthermore, taking advantage of federal tax credits could see homeowners receiving up to a $500 reimbursement for high-efficiency insulation installation.
Looking for more ways to improve home efficiency through winterization? Contact a local home improvement professional for more tips and tricks to keep bills low and comfort levels where they need to be during cooler months.