We've all noticed it; the icy cool breezes, the flecks of snow on the lawn, and the need for an extra layer outside. While we might not like to admit it, Winter is just around the corner. Just like you'd get your vehicle ready for the weather ahead, there are some things that homeowners can do to ensure their home doesn't turn into an ice palace when the temperatures drop.
Getting your home ready for Winter doesn't have to cost much, and each little improvement can help save expensive fixes and wasted energy, saving you time and money in the long-run.
Here's how you can get your Colorado Springs home in tip-top condition this Winter:
Reverse The Ceiling Fan
It's something incredibly simple but it can make a considerable difference. Setting your fan to rotate clockwise will help redistribute the warm air near the ceiling back down to the main living space, making full use of the existing heat in your home. This small difference can save up to 15% on your home heating costs –for free.
Replace The Weather-Stripping & Caulking
Over time, your weather-stripping and caulking will wear down and need replacing. Ensure every crevice has a good seal by running your hand around window frames and doorframes to feel for any cool drafts. Even the smallest draft is enough to let the cool air in and your warm air out, and you'll notice the difference on your heating bill too.
Check Your Insulation
Most new homes come with a good amount of insulation thanks to modern building codes, but older homes quite often don't have enough insulation to really keep your home as warm as it could be. Experts recommend around 15-inches of insulation in the attic to get the most out of the heat in your home, which means you'll need to spend less money on creating more heat to replace it as it's lost.
Mind Your Driveways & Foundation
Before the temperatures get too cold, check your driveway, steps, and foundation for any cracks or small damage. Concrete is susceptible to damage from small cracks. Water can get stuck in the crack, and as the ice freezes, it can actually break apart the concrete making an even larger crack. Over time, you'll have a much larger problem that will be much more difficult to fix –and expensive.
Winterize Your Attic
Winterizing your attic can improve your home's overall energy efficiency throughout the year. Start by checking the insulation. Attic insulation should come up over the joists. When you look in the attic, the floor should look like a sea of insulation. If you can see the joists, then your attic needs more insulation.
You can add your own insulation, if you know how. Keep in mind that improper insulation techniques could result in development of condensation, mold, and mildew in your attic. Never cover vents or holes to the outside with your insulation.
If you're not properly trained to add insulation to your attic, consult with a professional. An experienced contractor can help you insulate your attic properly. While you're insulating your attic, seal cracks around vents, and fix any holes that were made by animals.
Check The Filters In Your Furnace or Heat Pump
It's recommended to have your furnace or heat pump serviced at least once per year to make sure that everything is functioning at its peak efficiency. It's also a great idea to check the filters yourself once every season to see if they need to be replaced. Even if a filter doesn't look that dirty, it could have caught enough dust and particulates in its fibers the slow its ability to easily sift through the air. Keeping a clean filter will not just protect your heating appliances and keep them running at their best, it% can also save you big money on your heating bill each month.
Upgrade To A Programmable Thermostat
If there's no one in your home for a period of time each day, is there really a need to keep it warm? A programmable thermostat will effortlessly maintain a comfortable temperature when you're in the home and hold off on heating it when you're away or sleeping. High-tech thermostats like Nest and Eco-Bee have advanced features, including movement sensors to detect when you're away and mobile apps that allow you to manage your home's climate on the go.
With Cyber Monday right around the corner, it could be a great time to pick one of these up!
There are several ways you can improve the value of your home, some little and some large, but basic maintenance goes a long way in making sure your investment remains prosperous. If you're looking to buy in Colorado Springs this Winter, get in touch with the experts at MilitaryHomeSearch.com to get expert advice on your home purchase.
Lauren Schneider, Real Estate Agent and Military Relocation Professional (MRP)
Lauren Schneider has lived in Colorado Springs for nearly 20 years and knows that the military is what keeps this town ticking, which is one of the reasons she's chosen to pursue her dream of helping military families with all of their homebuying needs. Learn more about Lauren or start your home search now.