Real Estate: 10 Ways To Beat The Freeze
The weather is turning cooler which means it’s time to prepare your home for the winter! We’ve got 10 great tips to help keep your home warm, safe, and cost efficient this winter.
1 // Turn Down Your Hot Water Heater
Most standard hot water heaters are set to 140 degrees, but most homes don’t need that much heat. You end up paying for hot water you’re not using. By lowering your heaters temperature to around 120 degrees, you can reduce your water heating bill by around 6 to 10 percent!
2 // Turn Down The Heat
When you leave your house, remember to turn the heat down! For every degree you turn the heat down, you can save around 1% to 3% on your heating bill!
3 // Caulk + Seal
Air leaks in your home can severely decrease energy efficiency and make it hard to heat up the house in the winter. Take a good look corners where different materials meet like around chimney, around windows, and along the foundation. You can have someone stand outside with a blow dryer and blow air around suspected leaks to confirm where you need to caulk or weather strip.
4 // Stop Drafts
Drafty doors can waste anywhere from 5% to 30% of energy. Draft snakes are super inexpensive (you can even DIY your own) and effective!
5 // Reverse Fans
Fans sure do keep you cool in the summer, but did you know they can keep you warm in the winter too? There’s a little switch at the top of the fan that changes the blade direction to clockwise. Clockwise rotation pulls warm air from the ceiling and brings it back down to keep you warm and toasty. This can cut as much as 10% off of your heating bill!
6 // Winterize you A/C + Hoses
Keep your air con pipes and hoses from freezing this winter. Make sure any excess water has been drained from piping and equipment. If you have any window A/C units, make sure to remove them and put the window down to avoid drafts. For water hoses, make sure they’ve been drained and put away and make sure to turn off any water spigots on the outside of your home.
7 // Tune Up Your Heating System
Make sure your heating system is clean and in tip top shape to avoid any chilly outages and to save on your heating costs. Call and make an appointment with an HVAC technician to have them take a good look at your furnace.
8 // Insulate Piping
Keep your pipes from freezing and bursting by insulating your piping. Insulating your piping can also decrease your hot water bill. Pipes that are warm are the ones you want to insulate. Most hardware stores sell foam that will wrap around the pipes. Then just cut it to the right size and duct tape it.
9 // Take Care of Outside
Even though we don’t get a ton of snow here on the Outer Banks, it’s still a good idea to clean out gutters and take care out your outside areas. Clean out gutters of all debris so that rain and snow can drain efficiently. Cut down any tree branches that hang over your house and cars. Snow and ice build up can cause branches to get heavy and fall.
10 // Bring Plants Inside
Tropical and annuals that don’t do well in the cold need to come inside before the first frost hits. Spray plants that look like that might have pests like spiders, then make room in your house or garage for them. Cut back on watering and don’t apply any more fertilizer until the weather warms back up.