4 maintenance projects to save money and prepare your home for winter

Staff Writer
The Destin Log
These tips can help you save money and prepare for winter weather

TIP OF THE WEEK

Cooler temperatures signal it’s time to switch gears and prepare your home for the approaching winter. A few modifications can go a long way - here are four key projects to winterize your abode, help you stay warm and save money this coming season and beyond.

1. Stop letting money slip through the cracks

An easy way to winterize and keep heat in is to find drafts and seal them. In fact, drafts can waste five to 30 percent of a home’s energy usage according to the U.S. Department of Energy says. Keep drafts at bay by simply placing a rolled bath towel under doors and seal gaps in windows with caulk, or apply weather stripping or window winterizing film to keep the warm air from escaping.

Can’t find the drafts? Simply run your finger around edges of windows and doors to feel where air is leaking; or use a flashlight to see where light passes through.

2. Save water year-round

The kitchen is one of the hardest working areas in the house, and installing a low-flow faucet can help cut back on your water bills. Choose an option with a pull-down spray wand that helps conserve water as well as make tasks in and around the sink easier.

3. Get smart with heating

You may think your old thermostat is doing just fine, but the truth is a new one can save you up to 12 percent on heating and 15 percent on cooling, according to The Nest. A “smart thermostat” can help you conserve resources by learning your schedule, allowing you to control the climate in your home remotely as well as showing you your energy consumption in real-time. In turn, it’ll save you money, since you’ll be heating and cooling your home only when necessary.

4. Water heater cool down

The furnace isn’t the only place to save by turning down the temperature. Many water heaters are set to 140 degrees, which can actually be dangerous and cause scalding. Simply lowering the temperature 20 degrees can save you $36 to $61 annually, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. This will also slow mineral buildup and corrosion in the water heater and pipes, saving significant money in the long run by preserving the life of your unit.

Getting a head start on winterizing projects this fall will not only prepare your home for the season to come, but make your wallet happy.