Sunday, October 14, 2012

# cleaning # frugal

Home Winterization

It's that time of year again, isn't it? You know the one..where you want to be outside enjoying jumping in the piles of crisp fall leaves but instead the wind is blowing and the rain is coming down in sheets? Yep, that's the one that's happening here right now. I had beautiful plans of finally tackling the front porch. It's still stacked with things that I needed to unload in a hurry and it needs to be done before the snow sets in. However, mother nature had ideas of her own so today, I'm stuck indoors.

Since I can't be working outside, I got to thinking about all of the projects that need to be done not only outside, but inside as well. This kind of weather is a sure sign that I need to be taking advantage of the good weather days to get the outside winterization done. On days like today, I can work on the inside jobs that come this time of year.

My current list of projects is miles long but that's just because if I don't have a project, I don't know what to do with myself! Today, I'm going to share a list of 5 simple and easy projects that you can do around your own homes to help save some money this winter! After all, we can all use a bit of extra money these days.

1. Block the drafts - Check under your outside doors. If they're anything like mine, there are drafts coming in. I have an old house and over the years, it's settled and nothing is quite square. My solution? I'll be making my own draft blocker! It's super easy and I bet any of you can do this. (Don't tell my kids where their pool tube things went, ok?) If you don't want to make one yourself, head down to any of your local department type stores and look in the holiday sections. At this time of year, they always have cute draft blockers. They'll cost you more than making one yourself, but you'll be all set!

2. Run your ceiling fans on reverse - I wish I had ceiling fans! Did you know that warm air rises and pools up around your ceiling? By flipping that switch on your fans so that the blades rotate in a counter-clockwise direction, you could save up to 10% off of your heating bills! That's insane!

3. Turn down your water heater - Do you have any idea what temperature your water heater is set at? Most installers/plumbers set them to 140F. By simply turning it down to 120, you could save 6-10% on those energy bills. Most people don't even realize the difference since a shower at 140 is so hot that we don't turn the water up that high!

4.Install storm doors and windows - This one takes actual manual labor, but can be so worth it! Did you know that simply installing a storm door can increase energy efficiency in your home by up to 45%? Also, for those of you that have storm windows installed on your home, make sure they're closed! I know you're thinking duh, but I've lived in this house for 3 years and just in the past week realized that my front door has a storm window that lowers on it! I need to check my back door now for something similar!

My thanks to Wil Wheaton and his friend Loren
for taking this picture and allowing it to be
spread across the internet. 
5. Put on a sweater - Let's face it. We're all getting older and the days of us laying about in our skivvies with 6 inches of snow on the ground are probably long past. If they're not, hey don't let me stop your fun! But, did you know that simply putting on a light sweater can add about 2 degrees of warmth to your body? A heavier sweater can add up to 4 degrees! That can easily translate into not having to have your thermostat turned up so high. Plus, who doesn't want to pull out all of their ugly sweater candidates? Make it an ugly sweater fashion show with hot chocolate going to the winner!


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