By: Guest Contributor, Patricia Evans
With the horrendous weather condition in the United States, your house may be suffering from horrible leaks, faulty gutters, and even broken windows or doors. Normally, having these household problems brought about by extreme weather conditions would push homeowners to resort to temporary fixes leading to a rise in electricity bills and empty your pockets. With the emergence of energy efficient home designs in the market today, weather-proofing your home should not cost you a great sum of money.
Saving in style while weather-proofing your home should not be a problem. Here are some ways on how you can make your home conducive and weatherproofed to stay in besides the cold temperature while keeping the expenses on the low.
1. Create Your Own Heater
Having a home-made heater at home would save you a great deal of money. With the power of the Internet, various DIY projects are made available to save you money without sacrificing the fulfillment of your needs. Why don’t you try this one out?
Bring out a candle, tin can, a metal casing, and two flowerpots (one bigger than the other.) Light the candle inside the tin can and cover it with the small flower pot. Using the metal casing, one that is used as candle containers, cover the hole of the smaller pot. With the remaining larger pot, cover the smaller pot and let the heating begin. Heating should not cost you as much as it only involves proper science and a process of convection. With this DIY heating system, you’ll get all warmed up for the winter season.
2. Keep shades and drapes
Having shades and drapes at home is also another step to keep the heat at home while keeping the cold air out. Every morning, open the drapes to let the sun’s heat to come in and warm up the house. It is doubly important to keep the drapes down at night since it is when the temperature is colder.
3. Bring Your Plants Inside
Have indoor plants at home to induce the proper circulation of oxygen inside the home and keep moisture locked inside. With the amount of insulation brought about by the drapes and heater, plants could provide moisture inside your home while adding aesthetics to your home as well. If you live in an apartment or condominium, having plants at home through container gardening is an energy-efficient way to keep the moisture locked inside.
Photo courtesy of Nationwide Verandas
4. Decorative Curtain Insulator
Home experts reveal that windows are the largest avenues of heat loss since the material, glass, is a poor insulator. As such, covering the window is one of the most crucial steps towards a well-insulated home. Buying insulated curtains is necessary as they have a thermal foam backing system to keep your home warm and beautiful without the added cost. Unlike other heating systems, insulated curtains give dual functionality by contributing to an appealing and weather-proof home at the same time.
Photo courtesy of Flickr
5. All-weather Awnings
Aside from providing an extra room in your home, having awnings can help save energy while providing shade and insulation to your house as well. Some of the benefits of awnings includes having full-weather protection to your windows, doors, patios, or even provide insulation to your home when awnings are retracted. The dual function makes awnings a must-have for your home to help you maximize the space and keep your home weather-proof.
Photo courtesy of Nationwide Awnings
6. Solar panels
Installing solar panels at home will definitely keep your energy bills low and may even increase your property value. In the same light, modern technology nowadays offer waterproof solar panels which is useful during extreme weather conditions when you are forced to stay at home. Having a solar panel at home could reduce your bills since this could be utilized to heat your water and even your heater at home.
Photo courtesy of Flickr
7. Keep door draft stoppers
Draft stoppers are cost-effective substitutes to keep the draft from entering your home from the gaps between your floor and the door. At the same time, draft stoppers are helpful in locking the warm air inside the house.
8. Insulator blankets for your ducts
According to Energy Star, a 20 percent heat loss occurring in a typical house is due to the holes and leaks of the ducts. As such, you are wasting money that should have been used in insulating the duct work inside your house. You may also use an insulator blanket in your hot water to keep it warmer at a longer time.
9. Programmable thermostat
Programmable thermostat could save you energy and time at the same time. Acting as the brain of the heating and cooling system, programmable thermostats allows you to set four different temperatures each day for different days of the week. With this, you could manage the heating and cooling system even as you sleep. Though it may seem expensive, having a programmable thermostat is actually a good investment to have a home fit for the entire season.
10. Furnace filters
You have to change that furnace filter accordingly. Furnace filters allows you to filter the air circulating in your house. This helps eliminate the unwanted particles such as dust, pet dander, smoke, and pollens among others. Changing your filter every now and then does not force the system to work harder and cost more on your energy bill.
11. Regular checks of fireplace, chimneys, and wood stoves
Preparation would not cost you much compared to temporary and quick fixes for your home. Doing regular checks for your fireplace, chimneys, and wood stoves from debris like nests or a pile of leaves before entering the winter season ensures that you could keep your home heated and well-ventilated during the winter season. This would also ensure that you will have a working fireplace in cases when you need a heater in your household.
12. Clear out your gutters
By the end of fall, most leaves might have gotten stuck in your gutters and as you enter the winter season, this poses as a large problem. A clogged gutter means getting through the winter with a dirty and flooded roof. After the rain, you are sure to see molds, decay, stagnant water, and insects on your gutter. Moreover, your walls will be affected too as a result of your clogged drainage.
13. Fix leaky roofs, doors, and windows
Inspect your roof, doors and windows regularly, especially before the winter season. Check for stability, leaks, and even cracks. One can never be too sure with the strength of the weather which may wreak havoc to your home. Repair the leaks and holes immediately, but if replacements are required, make sure to do so instead of postponing and suffering the consequences afterwards.
14. Check your drainage systems
Check your drainage system for clogs as these are the usual causes of floods at home. Having your home prepared for floods keeps you comfortable through a rainy day. Run water through your drainage system and let all the debris is washed out.
15. Seal your attic and basement
While air gaps in windows and doors are proven to contribute to heat loss, the same may be applied to uninsulated basements and attics. Though this may cost a large amount of money, losing a great amount of indoor heat through these under insulated areas may force your heating system to work harder thus taking its toll on your energy bills. Adding foam as insulation to these rooms is enough to keep them properly sealed.
16. Weather stripping
You may also opt for weather stripping your doors and windows. One way to determine whether your have a possible gap or hole, where the draft may come in, is with a lighted candle. Move around the house with a lighted candle in your hand, if you notice the light flicker, then it is where the draft is in. Do take extra caution in using candles at home as this is a great source of fire.
Every home deserves the right care and insulation the same way as you deserve to keep your every penny well spent. Preparation is the key to a weather-proof home and choosing the right types and brands of insulators could help a lot in saving your money. Don’t settle for cheap materials, keep quality and cost at the same level of priority.
Patricia Evans is a Huffington Post UK blogger. Connect with her via Twitter.