November 14, 2017
Quite possibly only days remain before the icy winds of winter begin to chill our bones and drive us into down filled cocoons whenever we venture out of doors! Enjoy them fully, take advantage and suck in every last bit of sunshine you can.
But do take a few moments to prepare your home for winters chill, too! What you could save on unnecessary heating bills can be added to your vacation savings – so with an eye toward a fantastic summer vacation next season, take these steps:
- GET PROFESSIONAL ADVICE – FOR FREE! Call your local energy provider and request an energy audit of your home. Low cost improvements based on their findings mean more in the vacation fund! The savings could multiply, as many energy upgrades may also be eligible for tax benefits (talk to your tax expert for details).
- Fireplaces are such a cozy addition to any room, but speak with your local professional to get advice about vents, fans and ways to minimize warm air loss and maximize the benefits! Fireplace chimneys not in use could be allowing a lot of cold air to circulate, so consider closing them off entirely.
- INSULATION; INSULATION; INSULATION! There’s a reason you see it stacked to the rafters at your local home improvement warehouses – IT WORKS! Attics, basement ceilings, around windows and doors and outer walls – insulation stops air leaks while keeping your heat inside and offering a barrier against the cold outside. Weather stripping, caulking and every kind of insulation is your energy savings best friend! (Extra bonus – these measures also mean summer savings in most cases, since these same air leak fixes will benefit your AC!)
Less conspicuous but still important, these are several other areas that typically harbor air leaks you may want to consider:
- Dryer vents; Make sure the outside cover is closing properly when dryer isn’t in use
- Behind that switch plate and outlet cover may be a sneaky leaky that seldom gets attention but could add up to savings over time. The fix is fairly easy, just add an insulation pad between the fixture and the faceplate
- Gaps in the wall around areas where pipes come in; your home improvement store has easy to use products to seal those gaps off for good (Good savings, that is!)
As a real estate professional, my email inbox often overflows with useful information about maintaining a home. Following up on regular maintenance can maintain and even help increase a home’s value. Recent sales activity in our area may have changed the value of your home. For insight into current values, even if you aren’t planning on selling right now, contact me for a market analysis which is always complimentary.