Get Your Home Ready for Winter

If you live any place that has cold winter months, you’ll want to remember these money-saving tips.

Woman cleans leaves out of a gutter to prepare her home for winter.

We all look forward to the changing seasons, but sometimes they can be hard on your house. Don’t forget to take some time to prep your property for the colder months—it’ll improve your home’s energy efficiency and help keep everything running smoothly.

Get started with a few of these popular and low-cost winterizing tips:

  1. Install weather stripping
    Easy-to-use strips of felt or foam can be added around doors and windows to stop cold air from creeping in. Look into draft sweeps and draft stoppers for added insulation. 
  2. Replace furnace filters
    Change your filter every couple of months during the season, or more frequently if you have pets, to boost the efficiency and longevity of your furnace.
  3. Get your furnace serviced
    Call up a trusted technician to have your furnace inspected and tuned up. Guidelines recommend servicing every two years for newer models and yearly for older ones.
  4. Lower the hot water temperature
    Water heater thermostats are often set at 140°F when most households only require 120°F. Turning down the temperature lowers heating bills and reduces risk of scalding.
  5. Install a programmable thermostat
    Upgrade your old thermostat to better control your home’s temperature. While smart thermostats are slightly more expensive, basic programmable ones are fairly inexpensive.
  6. Clean the gutters
    Before freezing temperatures hit, remove leaves and de-clog your gutters to help prevent water buildup. Water that can’t drain properly may cause damage as it freezes and melts.
  7. Cover your windows
    Remember to close your curtains or blinds at night and when you go out to conserve heat. Consider storm doors and windows for a heavier duty option to seal in heat.
  8. Clean up outside
    Drain water from any outdoor faucets and put away hoses. Make sure your outdoor furniture and equipment is clean and safely stored as well.
  9. Seal leaks
    Get out the caulk gun and seal up any fixable air leaks around your windows, doors, chimney, attic, foundation and siding.
  10. Lower the thermostat
    The easiest way to save on home heating costs: lower your thermostat a couple of degrees. Dig out the blankets and socks and get ready for winter!

Want to tackle bigger winter projects? Check out UW Credit Union’s HELOC and Home Equity Loans for low-rate lending options to cover the cost of your upcoming home improvement plans, such as a new furnace installation or a basement remodel.

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