Summer has come and gone, which means it is time for people to start thinking about the colder months that are on the horizon. Last winter was relatively mild, however that does not mean this winter will follow suit. There is not anything that can be done about the cold outside, but that doesn’t mean that you have to freeze inside. The fact is that you can weatherize your home, so that the cold does not have to follow you inside.
So how do you prevent Old Man Winter from coming into your home? Many people think that the key is to keep the heat turned up. The reality is, while that central heating system will keep you warm, it will not prevent the cold air from entering your home. In fact, the only thing keeping the thermostat cranked up will do is crank up your heating bill. The key to staying warm indoors lies in weatherizing your home so the cold won’t follow you in. So what do you do and how much will it cost?
The answer to that depends on how old your home is and what home improvements you can take the time to make. The first thing that you want to do is to look at your home. Is your home older or newer? If you live in a newer home there will probably be less to do since your home should be well insulated. The problem lies in older homes. Older homes tend to not be as well protected because of the wear and tear that the home’s insulation has endured throughout the years. It may come down to having to replace the insulation in your home.
Now this can be an expensive proposition if you decide to hire a professional. If you want to get the job done without having to drop a small fortune, you may want to consider doing the job yourself. So is this a hard proposition? It can be depending on what you have to insulate. If you are talking about insulating the attic or basement then maybe. However there are other areas of your house that are easier to insulate. Consider the doors and windows of your house. These are automatic openings to the outside world, which means that they are also natural inlets for outside air. What may be surprising is that insulating these winter portals only requires caulk. By applying caulk to the window sills and door frames, you will create a seal that can block out the harsh winter weather.
Speaking of windows, here is another thing to consider when weatherizing your home for winter: older houses tend to have only one pane of glass. That means having to swap out your screen windows for storm windows. This tip won’t cost a penny since your house will already have storm windows, however it will take time and energy to replace the screen windows in favor of insulated panes of glass.
Another thing that you need to consider are your water pipes. Newer houses are built with PVC pipes, however older houses tend to have metal pipes. Metal pipes are less weather resistant, and are more susceptible to freezing. There are things that can be done to protect these older pipes. By wrapping your metal pipes in fiber glass insulation or using pre-molded foam rubber sleeves, you will be able to protect your pipes from freezing and cracking.
Winter does not have to mean having to battle to keep your home warm. Weatherizing your home will help keep the cold air out and keep your heating costs down. While some of those weatherization tips can be costly many are simple enough for the average handyman to accomplish on his own. For those who are not naturally handy, home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s offer materials and classes that will help answer any questions that you may have.