There are two seasons in New England: Winter and Not-Winter. While the leaves change colors and your diet consists of more and more pumpkin-flavored things, it’s easy to forget that cold air is on its way. Is your home ready to stand up against a long and cold winter? You don’t have to spend a small fortune on your winter utility bills or on weatherproofing your home. Here are some of our favorite – and inexpensive – ways to weatherproof your home.
Weatherproof your door and window frames to reduce cold air intake.
Estimated Cost: $20 to $30
When it comes time to weatherproof your home, look first at your doors and windows. Warm air may be slipping through the cracks of your doors and windows, which is not energy efficient and is likely making your heating costs higher than they need to be. If there are only a few areas of your home that need a little TLC, like old windows and doors, run to the hardware store, and pick up some caulking and weather stripping to keep the cold air out. Weatherproofing windows and doors can be an easy and inexpensive way to reduce your heating bill!
A low-tech trick you can use is to light a candle and slowly move it around your window frame. If the candle flickers, it means that outside air is leaking in. Be sure to check those outside doors, too. If you feel a draft coming from exterior doors, add some door sweeps to keep them properly sealed, reducing heat lost through doors.
Keep your heating system from overworking and sending hard-earned warm air out. Caulking or weather stripping can help keep your heating bills down too!
When you have a Mass Save home energy audit, an energy technician will locate the problem areas of your home for you. Professional air sealing is available; all you have to do is set up a separate appointment with your energy advisor, and they can fix leaks and get your home energy efficient.
Ensure storm windows are installed correctly.
Estimated Cost: Free!
Storm windows are an inexpensive way to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. If you have had them installed, make sure they are weatherproofed by professional weatherproofing agents to prevent leaks.
Call MonsterEnergy experts to get a free assessment of your storm windows and exterior doors. They can lead you to a more energy-efficient home.
Add honeycomb cellular shades.
Estimate Cost: $30 to $100
There are many ways to keep your home from feeling like an icebox. One way is by using draft-proofing solutions on all exposed areas, including doors and windows; these can be made with honeycomb shades or weather stripping (depending upon what you want). You should lower the shades at night when it’s cooler out, so they’re not blocking any air coming in through the walls – but don’t forget about opening up those shades during the day! Let the sunshine in and naturally warm your home.
Bonus: honeycomb shades can help keep cooling costs down in the summer by blocking harsh rays from the sun.
Get a programmable thermostat.
Estimated Cost: $35 to $200
Heating your home in the winter can lead to higher utility bills, so it’s important to find ways for your indoor temperature control system to work more efficiently and keep your utility costs down. One way is to replace your old thermostat with a programmable thermostat (it automates indoor temperature, so you don’t have to) that allows people who are often busy or travel a lot to automate the settings on their own schedules without needing someone else set them up beforehand.
With remote access features provided by some smart home technology models these days, managing temperatures is easier than ever before. You’ll save money in annual energy costs too, which can be up to $200 per year.
Create a door draft stopper.
Estimated Cost: $10 per door
Does someone at home love to sew? You can create your own door draft stoppers with just some fabric, thread, and uncooked rice. Don’t know your way around a sewing machine? You can pick up some up from the store for about $10 each. Don’t want them to be an eyesore? There are dozens of styles to match any decor or sense of humor. One of our favorites was this little “guard” dog. If you have a draft coming in through your door, this cute little pup will keep the outside air out and the inside air in!
Door draft stoppers do exactly what it sounds like, stop drafty cold air from entering your home! This is a simple and effective way of weatherproofing your home. Place one at each door leading outside for an extra layer of protection against the cold.
Snuggle your water tank with a water heater insulating blanket.
Estimated Cost: $15 to $40
Did you know that insulating your hot water heater can reduce heat loss by 25 to 40%? Consider throwing on a blanket to make sure your hot water heater is cozy all winter long. It’s important to note that not just any blanket will do. Using a blanket off of your bed is considered a fire hazard, so if you’re undertaking this DIY project, invest in the real deal. Hot water heater blankets work wonders and are relatively inexpensive, considering all the money they will help you save on hot water costs and energy bills.
Clean your gutters.
Estimated Cost: $0
Weatherization projects aren’t limited to the inside of your home. Cleaning your gutters will prevent water damage to your attic and protect your attic insulation. Water damage not only causes structural damage if left untreated but also, your family may fall ill thanks to mold and mildew growth. All you need to get started is a ladder and a hose.
Call for backup against the cold winter air.
Estimate Cost: None
While you may be a superstar at DIY weatherization projects, sometimes you need a little help to make your efforts shine. You can think of the Energy Monster team as your backup dancers. We can help you fill in the gaps of your routine (literally) with our home energy audit and air sealing services (such as the attic or basement insulation) to ensure you don’t have a leaky house this winter. And like most concerts, home energy slots fill up quickly. Don’t be disappointed by a sold-out show and have to wait months for the next one. We’re here to help you out!
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