7 tips for protecting your home - and wallet - from the cold

Ginger Dean

January 22, 2014

By: Ginger Dean, Home Finance Specialist

In: Finance and LegalHeating and Cooling

The winter months can take a costly toll on your home. Rather than spending the time, energy, and money to fix a major problem, you can do your best to avoid them with a little preparation:

Frozen pipes

Pipes exposed to freezing temperatures run the risk of freezing themselves and then breaking apart. It can be a costly disaster. Make sure your pipes, particularly exposed ones in the basement, attic, or garage, are protected from freezing air drafts. If necessary, your pipes can be fitted with insulation.

Insulate doors and windows

Keeping cold air out and warm air in during the winter isn't just a recipe for ultimate coziness - it's also cost-effective. Insulating your doors and windows and sealing any trouble spots will help ensure you stay safe from the cold and keeps your furnace from working overtime.

Mitigate the damage

Familiarize yourself with any disasters-waiting-to-happen in your home. This means doing a careful check of everything from your front door to your chimney (which you've had inspected this year, right?). Create an annual list of winter chores as you go around the house - you'll thank yourself next year when you don't forget to change the filters or drain the water from your hot water tank.

More weatherization tips

  • Check your attic for areas where heat may rise and escape thereby contributing to an increased heating bill. If you find areas that are poorly insulated, add more.
  • Inspect your windows for cracks and gaps that could mean you feel winter drafts.
  • Replace the furnace filters. Neglecting to do this may cause your heater to break down.
  • Redirect the heating in your home by closing off vents in rooms that aren't in use. Then you'll get the warmth where you need it most.

Taking the time now to winterize your home will pay off in the long run. Putting it off may only be delaying the inevitable, so take care of it today.

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