Top tips for winterizing your home

As the temperatures continue to drop below the freezing threshold, many of us begin our winter hibernation — moving indoors to cozy blankets and warm nights.

Creating a comfortable and energy-efficient living space is important in cold weather months since thermostats are cranked up and pocketbooks get lighter. Why not save some cash with these simple home winterizing tips to keep the heat in and cold out.

1) Seal it up tight!

Cover the cracks of your doors, particularly older ones, with easy to use and inexpensive weather stripping. For drafty windows, seal them up with caulking or switch to heavier drapes.

2) Adjust your thermostat

Being toasty warm is a good thing, but people tend to go overboard. How often have you cranked up the heat in the winter only to shed layers of clothing or bedding later because you’re too hot? I know I’ve been guilty of that one.

According to the chicecologist.com, “Each degree set below 20°C during colder weather uses 3 to 5 percent less heating energy than each degree set above 20°C.” So while you’re away from home or under the covers, why not turn down the thermostat? OR, install a programmable thermostat to adjust the temperature for you.

3) Improve efficiency

Furnace efficiency is key when you’re using it often, so be sure to clean the air filter regularly (once a month).

4) Put a sweater on—your hot water tank, that is

If you have an electric hot water tank, cozy it up by wrapping it and the hot water pipes in a specially designed blanket (which can be purchased at most home improvement stores) to help retain heat.

If you have a gas heater, DO NOT wrap it in this blanket. Instead have a professional ensure that it is insulated properly so your hot showers (short, that is!) will use less energy.

For more tips on winterizing your home, read Lauren Mangion’s Eco Coach blog and the Baird’s Eco Sense blog.

Image: Ian BC North