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7 winter home improvements to help you stay warm

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May 13, 2011

When winter wind starts to blow, make sure it doesn't blow right into your house. Keep your toes toasty warm and the heating bills low by taking these few simple home improvement ideas to heart.

Home improvements for winter warmth

Don't get caught off guard by drafts and other sneaky culprits that make your heating system work even harder. Start on these small home improvements now to avoid big bucks later.

  1. Now is the time to replace those old single pane windows. Double pane windows are much more efficient and can cut your utility bills significantly, especially if you replace all of the windows in the house at the same time. New windows not in the budget? Caulk around those single-pane windows where the window meets the frame.
  2. Schedule an annual service for your heating system. The regular checkup and thorough cleaning can help ensure the system runs strong and steady throughout the winter. If your heating system needs repair or upgrading, do that now.
  3. If you have an older water heater, insulate it. An insulating blanket can prevent a great deal of heat from escaping and help the unit heat water more efficiently. If you want to go for a home improvement, replace your old faithful with a new solar water heater.
  4. Did you know drafts can come in through your electrical outlets? Small sheets of insulation for your outlets are available at home improvement stores for mere pennies. Simply remove the cover, insert the insulation, and put the cover back on.
  5. While you are insulating things, look to your attic. Thick rolls of insulation can cut your utility bills and keep your home warmer during the winter. If there isn't enough insulation up there, it's time to call a contractor to bring in more.
  6. Switch out your old thermostat for a programmable one that allows you to adjust the temperature during the hours when you are not at home. That small change in temperature can be enough to reduce your utility bills during both winter and summer.
  7. Add a high-quality storm door to your exterior doors to provide a barrier between the door and the cold outside. Weather stripping along the entry doors can help cut down even further on drafts.

If you want to be absolutely sure you have done all you can to prevent old man winter from coming into your house, talk to your utility company about an energy audit. These audits are usually free of charge and can give you great tips for home improvements you might have missed.

When winter wind starts to blow, make sure it doesn't blow right into your house. Keep your toes toasty warm and the heating bills low by taking these few simple home improvement ideas to heart.

Home improvements for winter warmth

Don't get caught off guard by drafts and other sneaky culprits that make your heating system work even harder. Start on these small home improvements now to avoid big bucks later.

  1. Now is the time to replace those old single pane windows. Double pane windows are much more efficient and can cut your utility bills significantly, especially if you replace all of the windows in the house at the same time. New windows not in the budget? Caulk around those single-pane windows where the window meets the frame.
  2. Schedule an annual service for your heating system. The regular checkup and thorough cleaning can help ensure the system runs strong and steady throughout the winter. If your heating system needs repair or upgrading, do that now.
  3. If you have an older water heater, insulate it. An insulating blanket can prevent a great deal of heat from escaping and help the unit heat water more efficiently. If you want to go for a home improvement, replace your old faithful with a new solar water heater.
  4. Did you know drafts can come in through your electrical outlets? Small sheets of insulation for your outlets are available at home improvement stores for mere pennies. Simply remove the cover, insert the insulation, and put the cover back on.
  5. While you are insulating things, look to your attic. Thick rolls of insulation can cut your utility bills and keep your home warmer during the winter. If there isn't enough insulation up there, it's time to call a contractor to bring in more.
  6. Switch out your old thermostat for a programmable one that allows you to adjust the temperature during the hours when you are not at home. That small change in temperature can be enough to reduce your utility bills during both winter and summer.
  7. Add a high-quality storm door to your exterior doors to provide a barrier between the door and the cold outside. Weather stripping along the entry doors can help cut down even further on drafts.

If you want to be absolutely sure you have done all you can to prevent old man winter from coming into your house, talk to your utility company about an energy audit. These audits are usually free of charge and can give you great tips for home improvements you might have missed.

About the Author:

Shannon Dauphin is a journalist and occasional novelist with a serious weakness for real estate. Her current home was built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her necessary hobbies.

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