July 19, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Is your home prepared to withstand temperature changes and extreme conditions from outside? Well, why not! Weatherizing your home is your best bet for putting some extra cash in your wallet this winter. Make your home feel warmer this season, without breaking the bank with these great Do-It-Yourself tips!

Improve Insulation

It may not be very esthetically pleasing, but insulation is one of the best ways to make a big difference. Add more insulation between walls, and make sure you focus on the attic. Making sure your attic floor is properly insulated, can help keep warm air in your home.

Drafts

Drafts can waste 5% to 30% of your energy use, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The solution is simple, use a “draft snake,” which you can easily make yourself by placing a rolled towel under a door to minimize the cool air from seeping through.

Reverse Your Fans

Fans are not just for cooling your home. What most homeowners don’t know is that some ceiling units come with a handy switch that reverses the direction of the blades. This rotation produces the circulation of warmer air pooled near the ceiling, resulting in cutting your heating costs as much as 10%!

Get Ride of the AC Wall Unit

It will only take a few minutes and you most likely won’t be using your window A/C unit, so remove it. If you do not have a quality tarp to cover the outside of the unit, this may be the solution for cool air sneaking in through the cracks of your window.

Window Insulation Kit

Pick up a window insulation kit at your local hardware store. This window plastic is essentially invisible and adds a buffer against drafts and still air, which can give a nice boost to your home’s ability to hold heat.

Use Caulking and Weather-stripping

Take a close look at different corners, around your chimneys, where pipes or wires exit, and along the foundation of your home. Focus on carefully caulking the areas where there seems to be an air leak. Test to find out where to seal these gaps. Have someone stand outside the suspected “air leak” with a hair dryer while you hold a lit candle inside. If the dryer blows the candle out, then you know to seal the crack.

More Tips for Homeowners

Homeowners can avoid emergency repairs by completing a few home projects each season. A simple project such as inspecting the plumbing annually can prevent the unexpected cost of repairing water damage from a pipe that burst.

“Repairing water damage can cost 22 times the amount of annually cleaning the gutters, which can prevent water damage to the home’s foundation,” said Chris Terrill, CEO of HomeAdvisor. “The average cost of cleaning the gutters is $212, according to HomeAdvisor’s Cost Guide.” Terrill offers these tips:

Refrigerator. Vacuum the coils on the back of the fridge during the winter. Letting dirt and grime build up on the coils can decrease the refrigerator’s efficiency.

Furnace. Service the furnace to make sure it is operating properly, safely and to its fullest capability.

Plumbing. Every spring, inspect all plumbing for leaks. Small problems, such as leaky faucets and clogged drains, can turn into big headaches if left unchecked. However, repairing water damage can cost seven times that amount.

Roof. Checking for damage and making general repairs in the springtime can extend the life span of a roof. Neglecting to make these minor fixes can lead to long-term damage.

Paint. In the summer, touching up the home’s exterior paint not only boosts its curb appeal, it also acts as a home’s primary defense against weather, insects and other damage.

Gutter and downspouts. During the fall, clean the gutter and downspouts. Ignoring this matter can affect the foundation of a home.

By Aleshia Jijon, Links Residential

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