Winterizing on any Budget

Winterizing your home not only protects your home from bitter, cold winters, but also allows you to save on energy bills. For those who cannot hire contractors, there are steps individuals can take in winterizing their homes themselves. This does not have to be a costly endeavor, and often times you can spend much less $500 to protect your home from harsh winters.

Man the Cracks

One of the first things you may want to do is seal off any sources of cracks in your home. Cracked areas allow the heat in your home to leak out. You are essentially throwing money away if you do not take this step. Instead of hiring some to do this for you, you can do it yourself by buying some caulk, a basic caulk gun from a hardware store, and sealing off the cracks. The caulk gun will cost you around $20 and a tube of caulk cost around $8 each. It is a sure way to save a few hundred dollars in energy costs.

Dispense with Drafts

Replacing drafty windows in a home can be expensive. A cheaper alternative is to buy a plastic film window insulating kit. The kit will cost around $20. It is designed to go on the inside of your home, and not the outside. The plastic is very easy to apply and can be completed within a day. Door threshold strips can be purchased for around $25 each. They are used to fill air leaks beneath doors.

Tune Ups

Changing the furnace and air conditioning filter is also a great, inexpensive way to winterize your home. This should be done at least every three months. Heating and cooling is reduced when a filter is clogged, and it may shorten the useful life of the appliance. Replacing a filter is a very easy process. A filter will cost around $10.

Thermostat

You can install a programmable thermostat, which will automatically set temperatures to what you desire, at the time you want them set. You can avoid blasting your heater at high temperatures in an effort to quickly heat up your home when you return from work. A programmable thermostat will cost $35 to $100.

Chimney Balloon

Many people lose heat from their home through the chimney. A Chimney Balloon is used to keep heat from escaping and prevents drafts from blowing through your chimney. It will cost around $55.

Audit

For around $250 or less, your utility company can come and perform a home energy audit. An inspector will visit your home and check your furnace, air conditioning system, gaps and leaks, and your water heater and pipes.

Free Ways to Winterize

If you find these things outside of your budget, you still have options that are virtually free. You can roll up a towel to close the gaps between all of the exterior doors, and clean your filters and your gutters.

Claim Your Deductions

New tax laws allow a variety of home improvements to be tax-deductible. Check online to see which home improvements qualify. Winterizing your home is essential to saving money during the winter months.