It can be the small things that we do around the home to prepare for winter that can actually save us a ton of money. Plus, most of these little chores won’t take much of our time and most of these we can do ourselves.
Protecting our patio furniture
We all know how expensive that patio furniture is. We also know how hard it is to find patio furniture we actually like. For both of these reasons, we need to protect it.
Of course, the best way to protect it is to get it out of the weather. Yet, if you can’t do the next best thing, cover it. Look for breathable fabric to cover it and make sure you cover it tightly to keep out all water. Remember water freezes, which can turn into ice, which can melt and freeze over and over again throughout the winter.
All cushions and covers should be taken inside. Plus, any cedar furniture should be sheltered, as well.
Weatherproof your chimney
You may not realize this, but your chimney needs a little TLC. At least every 5 years, you should waterproof it or weather seal it. This can be done easily yourself, as long as you don’t mind climbing a ladder. It is as easy as painting. You just purchase a special water sealer (the brand Quikrite makes one) for chimneys and apply.
Locate drafts easily with a candle
Light a candle and then place it near every window. If it flickers, when you are standing still by a window, this means you have a draft.
These drafts can easily be fixed on the outside with a caulk and a caulking gun. When summer comes, you can easily remove with a razor blade.
If you don’t open any of the windows, you can also seal around the sash area.
Insulate water heater and water pipes
Did you know that your water heater may have to work as much as 10% harder in the winter due to the cold air surround it? Why not warm it up some? Just place some insulation around the outside of your water heater and tape it. It will look like you place a blanket around it when you are finished. For added protection, wrap insulation or purchase insulation tubing and slip this over the water pipes that lead to your water heater, too.
Use a programmable thermostat
To save energy, keep your thermostat on one setting all the time. The only exception would be if the home is vacated part of the day (family is at work or school).
Consider performing a power check on your appliances
Every year or so you may want to make sure your appliances are working as they should. You can easily do this by purchasing a kilowatt reader. Then you plug the reader into an outlet, plug the appliance into the reader and check the reader. Now match up the reading to what it states it should be in the manual you got when you purchase the appliance. How close is it?
If you perform these small little actions, you can a lot of money through the winter.
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