Now, as a woman, you know that it’s important to be proactive when it comes to protecting your home from the elements. That’s why you probably already have a checklist for winterizing your home while the temperatures are still rather temperate and bright.
However, more and more women are buying homes for the first time on their own, so this article is meant to make a handywoman out of all female homeowners -even if you don’t have experience- by providing tips to help you plug leaks, protect your pipes, and save on energy costs this winter.
Here is a quick handy woman’s prep guide for winterizing your home:
Put your thermostat on a program
The easiest way to cut down the heating costs you’ll pay this winter—and to give your furnace a break is to program your thermostat. Think of it this way, why do you need to heat your home on high when you’re at work?
The idea is to proactively extend the life of your furnace by giving it a much-needed break during the day and in the middle of the night. By doing so, you’ll not only lower your heating bills, but you’ll also lower the effort of your furnace from pumping out heat when it’s not needed.
So start by programming your thermostat to a lower setting when you’re not at home (i.e., when you’re at work and when you’re sleeping) and program it higher when you need it (i.e., an hour before you go to bed and an hour before you wake up).
Prevent pipes from cracking and bursting
One of the most important winter home maintenance steps that you can take is to protect your exterior pipes from bursting. Damaged plumbing is a huge drain on the finances, and you can easily prevent it just by shutting off exterior water sources and wrapping any pipes leading out of your home in rags or plastic to protect them from freezing and cracking.
Give your water heater some love
A broken water heater can be a nightmare in the dead of winter—especially considering it heats the water in your home and can create a damaging mess if it bursts all over your basement floor. To prevent a disaster, be sure to give your water heater the proper attention by checking the unit to ensure it’s working properly and not overheating.
The last thing you want is a pricey water heater replacement in your hands.
Plug leaky windows and doors
In the cold winter months, you want to keep as much warm air in and as much cold air out as possible—otherwise, you’ll find your heating bills will soar. As a proactive measure, do a walk around the exterior of your home and re-caulk damaged or cracked areas around your window sills, door frames, and electrical outlets leading outside.
A few tubes of caulk and weather-stripping are really cheap when you consider the cost of how much it will save you in heating costs and heat retained inside your home.
Get a new furnace filter.
Another cheap way to prevent your family from cranking the thermostat in the dead of winter is to ensure your furnace is running at prime efficiency. All you need to do is swap your old furnace filter for a clean, new one.
Trust me; when you take the old one out and see all the dirt and grime, you’ll know why your furnace was working harder than it should be. A new filter will also protect your house and its occupants against the risk of a fire. Plus, your home will use less energy to heat and stay warmer inside due to this inexpensive, proactive measure.