Temperatures have dropped significantly this week in Nashville, which means it’s officially time to begin preparing for the chilly winter season. You may have already busted out your winter wardrobe, but don’t forget about all of the unique seasonal needs your home has this time of year. Take a look at our list below for winterizing help. Best of all, the tips are budget-friendly, so you can keep the cash in your pocket for the gift-buying season, now just around the corner!
1. Clean Your Gutters
It may seem obvious, but cleaning your gutters is crucial. Taking the time to make sure water is flowing freely through your gutters now will prevent icicles and ice dams from causing harm later. Cost: Aside from time and effort, completely free!
2. Flush the Water Heater
Keep your water heater functioning like new, by preventing the build up of particles and sediment that collect at the bottom. Clear this material out by flushing the water through the drain valve, and your heater will continue to work at maximum efficiency. Cost: Free.
3. Storm Doors and Windows
Go the extra measure of installing storm doors and windows and you’ll benefit from sealed drafts, reduced air flow and an increase in light and ventilation in your home throughout the colder seasons. Cost: Equipping your home with storm doors and windows is an investment of up to a thousand dollars. However, you can see up to an estimated 45% increase in energy efficiency, making this tip well worth it in the long run.
4. Replace Filters
A small, regular investment in new filters in your central air and heating system does wonders for its efficiency and lifespan, equaling big savings for you in the long run. Cost: You can purchase new filters for as little as $10.
5. Window Insulation Film
Interior designers, skip ahead. Window insulation film certainly isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing addition to your home, but they can keep up to 70% of your heat from leaving through the windows. Cost: $20 to $35 per kit
6. Draft Guards
The main goal of wintertime is keeping the heat inside. You’ve covered the windows, now start on the doors. Draft guards help prevent heat from escaping under the doors. Cost: $10 to $15. Thrifty Tip: Don’t want to spend the extra money on a draft guard? A rolled towel under the bottom of the exterior door will help…maybe even just as well.
7. Fiberglass Insulation
Fiberglass insulation packed around basement doors, windows in unused rooms and window AC units works wonders for heat retention. Don’t forget your attic floor! Note: It’s important that you remember to wear gloves when working with fiberglass. Cost: around $25 per roll.
8. Bubble Wrap
Bubble wrap isn’t just for gifts during the holiday season – it’s also a great tool for keeping heat in your home. This works because the air in the bubbles is a fantastic insulator. Cost: An extra large roll of bubble wrap will only cost you $30.
9. Let The Sun Shine In
Make sure the south/west side of the house is getting the sun’s warmth by opening up the curtains in the daytime. Conversely, close them at night to keep out the cold. Cost: Free!
10. Chimney Balloon
Chimneys are a fan-favorite in the holidays, but they are also a major source of heat loss during the wintertime. If you’re not using your chimney, plug it up with a chimney balloon to keep the cold air out, and the cozy warmth inside. Cost: $55
11. Clear the Way
Make sure that furniture isn’t covering any vents in your home. Cost: Free!
12. Clear Dead Tree Limbs
Our final tip won’t keep you warm, but it could keep you and your property safe! People often forget to eliminate dead tree branches before the wintertime. The limbs are a hazard, falling and damaging roofs, siding, railings, cars and, worst of all, people. Deal with them before the winter ice comes. Cost: Aside from time and energy, nothing!