Winterize your wallet: 4 maintenance projects to save money and prepare your home for winter
Cooler temperatures signal it’s time to switch gears and prepare your home for the approaching winter. A few modifications can go a long way — here are four key projects to winterize your abode, help you stay warm and save money this coming season and beyond.
1. Stop letting money slip through the cracks
An easy way to winterize and keep heat in is to find drafts and seal them. In fact, drafts can waste five to 30 percent of a home’s energy usage according to the U.S. Department of Energy says. Keep drafts at bay by simply placing a rolled bath towel under doors and seal gaps in windows with caulk, or apply weather stripping or window winterizing film to keep the warm air from escaping.
Can’t find the drafts? Simply run your finger around edges of windows and doors to feel where air is leaking; or use a flashlight to see where light passes through.
2. Save water year-round
The kitchen is one of the hardest working areas in the house, and installing a low-flow faucet can help cut back on your water bills. Choose an option with a pulldown spray wand, like the Kendall kitchen faucet from Moen, that helps conserve water as well as make tasks in and around the sink easier. The spray wand features Reflex technology, which allows for easy and secure docking of the wand.
3. Get smart with heating
You may think your old thermostat is doing just fine, but the truth is a new one can save you up to 12 percent on heating and 15 percent on cooling, according to The Nest. The Nest Thermostat is a new-age way to conserve resources through its ability to learn your schedule and teach you how to save through notifications. In turn, it’ll save you money, since you’ll be heating and cooling your home only when necessary.
4. Water heater cool down
The furnace isn’t the only place to save by turning down the temperature. Many water heaters are set to 140 degrees, which can actually be dangerous and cause scalding. Simply lowering the temperature 20 degrees can save you $36 to $61 annually, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. This will also slow mineral buildup and corrosion in the water heater and pipes, saving significant money in the long run by preserving the life of your unit.
Getting a head start on winterizing projects this fall will not only prepare your home for the season to come, but make your wallet happy.