Do It Yourself-Easy Tips For Winterizing Your Home

As cold winter approaches, homeowners need to take steps to winterize their homes by insulating windows and doorways and checking their vents and ducts.

As winter approaches, homeowners often become apprehensive about escalating heating bills. No matter how you heat your home, you can take some steps to make your house more energy efficient, and you can ward off potential cold weather problems, such as frozen and burst pipes.

Of course homeowners can take care of obvious cold weather problems simply by adding storm windows, storm doors, and insulating attics, walls, and floors. There are several other inexpensive options, however, that can create a dent in high power bills.

When the temperature drops, pipes can become frozen and burst. Homeowners often don't discover leaks until their pipes have thawed, and by then, it is too late. A common practice of preventing frozen pipes is to leave water dripping from faucets in the house. While this might work, it also means high water bills, so how much money are you really saving? If you visit your local hardware, building supply, or plumbing store, however, you can find inexpensive pipe insulation.

This insulation is made specifically to surround pipes. It should be pipe shaped and have a slit down the middle. All you have to do is spread the slit apart, slide it over the pipe, and pull the insulation snug. This is great for outdoor faucets and other exposed pipes that are under your house.

If you don't have storm windows, you can still get a similar effect by purchasing a window insulation kit. These kits consist of sheets of insulating plastic that can be cut to fit your windows. Once you have cut the sheets to size, all you have to do is use a blow dryer. Point the blow dryer, working your way around the whole window. The heat from the blow dryer shrinks the plastic, adhering it to the window and the window's edges. This forms a barrier to the wind and cold. Even if you do have storm windows, you can still apply this extra window insulation.

Cold air is usually evident around door edgings, but you can cut down on the amount of air that seeps into your home. While you are at your building supply center, purchase a roll of weather stripping. This stripping can be cut to fit around doors. It is simple to apply and helps to seal your doorway.

As you continue to search for ways to insulate your house against the cold, you may have to do some inspection of vents and duct work. It is a good idea to inspect your air conditioning and heating systems ducts to see if any of it has come loose. If your duct work doesn't attach tightly to your vents, you may experience cold air coming into your home through your vents.

If the damage is extensive, you will probably need to call an air conditioning and heating expert to repair or replace your duct work. If you only have a few loose places, however, you may be able to repair it yourself.

You also need to take a look at your clothes dryer's exhaust vent. Be sure there isn't excess space between the vent and the floor that allows air to seep in. You also need to check the plumbing around your washing machine and under your kitchen and bathroom sinks. All of your pipes should fit snuggly with very little if any space. You can tuck insulation around any holes in the floor.

Even though all of these measures are typically minor, they can have a significant impact on your heating bill, thus saving you money.

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