Winterize Your Home on a Budget

With an average home electric and gas bill reaching $350, $450, and more last year in winter, it’s not surprising many people are searching for low-cost, easy to do home improvements to help save them some money this year!

Do you remember Bob Villa? Well he came up with “11 Ways to Winterize Your Home on a Budget” that any home owner can surely use and we think is right on.

Below we have listed them, but be sure to view the complete slide show here.

(1)   Clean Your Gutters

You’ve heard it before, but we can’t stress this enough. Making sure that water can flow freely through your gutters now will help prevent icicles and ice dams from forming later. Cost: Other than your sweat and time, free.

(2) Flush the Water Heater

Particles and sediment can collect over time in the bottom of your water heater hindering the unit’s efficiency. Flush the water through the drain valve to clear out the material and keep your heater functioning at its best. Cost: 100% free!

(3) Clockwise Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are everyone’s favorite summer budget-saver. But they can help out in the winter as well! Have your ceiling fans move in a clockwise direction so they push hot air along the ceiling towards the floor. If they’re going counterclockwise, they won’t be as effective. Cost: free if you have a fan.

(4) Replace Filters

Regularly changing the filters your central air and heating system can significantly improve its efficiency and longevity, while easing the pressure on your wallet. Cost: a new filter runs about $10.

(5) Window Insulation Film

It may not be the most fashionable tip, but window insulation film can keep up to 70% of your heat from leaking out of windows. Cost: $20 to $35 per kit.

(6) Draft Guards

Draft guards can help save heat from escaping under the door. Cost: $10 to $15. (If you don’t want to shell out for a draft guard, a rolled towel placed at the bottom of an exterior door will also do the trick.)

(7) Weather strip Tape

Drafts and air leaks increase your heating costs, so make sure your windows and doors are sealed tight with weather-stripping. Simple, easy, and smart. Cost: $5 to $10 per roll.

(8) Fiberglass Insulation

For maximum heat retention, pack fiberglass insulation around basement doors, windows in unused rooms, and window AC units.  Make sure your attic floor is insulated, too. Just remember to be careful and wear gloves! Cost: around $25 per roll.

(9) Programmable Thermostat

The US Department of Energy says you can save as much as 1% on your energy bill for every degree you lower your home’s temperature during the winter. Install a programmable thermostat now and save money by keeping the temp down when you’re not at home.

(10) Just Caulk It

Any remaining gaps in siding, windows, or doors can be filled with caulk. For extra drafty windows and doors, caulk the inside too, pulling off moldings to fill all gaps in the insulation. Cost: $20 for a basic caulk gun and $5 to $10 for a tube of caulk.

(11) Chimney Balloon

Your chimney is a huge source of heat loss come wintertime. If not in active use, plug it up with a chimney balloon to keep drafts out and heat in. Cost: $55.