In the United States, winter officially begins on December 21st and ends on March 20th. However, depending on the region, the weather can start feeling like winter much earlier or later. For example, it’s not uncommon for snow to start falling in October in the northern states, while in the southern states, it might not start getting cold until December. Certain states tend to become much colder than others, with Alaska being in the top one spot.
Regardless of when winter starts where you live or how cold it is in your state, there is no doubt that it can be quite an uncomfortable experience for your family. The winter cold has been associated with the common flu and other diseases for quite some time now. Your first step into preventing this from happening is to improve your home.
There are a few necessary home improvements that you can make to help prepare your home for winter.
Install insulation in the attic and crawl spaces
Insulation is essential to every home, but it’s extra important during the winter season. It will determine how well your home retains heat and how comfortable you will be. Installing insulation in your attic and crawl spaces is a great way to keep the heat in and the cold out.
Your attic and crawl spaces are the areas of your home that are most susceptible to the cold, so it’s essential to take some preventative measures. You can add insulation devices such as weather stripping and door snakes. You can also add a layer of insulating material such as foam board or fiberglass batts.
By insulating your attic and other crawl spaces in your home, you can help keep your family warm and healthy all winter long without consuming too much energy.
Replace any single-pane windows with double-paned windows
Single-pane windows are one of the biggest culprits of heat loss in a home. They are much less effective at retaining heat than double-paned windows. If you have single-pane windows, now is the time to replace them with double-paned windows.
The difference between single-paned and double-paned windows is that double-paned windows have two layers of glass with a space in between. This space is typically filled with argon gas, which helps insulate the window. As a result, double-paned windows are much more effective at retaining heat and keeping your home comfortable during the winter months.
In addition to replacing your single-pane windows with double-paned windows, you can also add a layer of film to your existing windows.
Seal any cracks or gaps in the exterior of your home
Cracks and gaps in the exterior of your home are other common sources of heat loss. You can help keep the warm air in and the cold air out by sealing these cracks and gaps.
There are a few ways to seal up your home’s exterior cracks and gaps. You can use weather stripping, caulk, or expanding foam sealant.
Weatherstripping is a great way to seal small cracks and gaps around doors and windows. It’s a thin vinyl material inserted into the crack or crevice and secured with adhesive tape.
Caulk is a type of sealant used to fill in cracks and gaps in masonry, concrete, or stucco surfaces. It comes in various colors and can be easily applied with a caulk gun.
Expanding foam sealant is a type of sealant that is injected into cracks and gaps. It expands as it dries, filling in the crack or gap completely.
By sealing any cracks or gaps in your home’s exterior, you can help keep the heat in and the cold out.
Purchase and Install a programmable thermostat
Getting a programmable thermostat for your home is one way you can ensure that your home isn’t spending too much electricity on heating. A programmable thermostat allows you to schedule when you want your heat to be turned on and off.
For example, you can set your thermostat to turn the heat on an hour before you wake up in the morning and turn it off an hour before you go to bed. You can also set it to lower the temperature when you are away from home during the day.
A programmable thermostat is a great way to save energy and money while still keeping your family comfortable during the winter months. Thankfully, it’s not too expensive to install and find one. Many furnace companies offer a programmable thermostat alongside their products. Furthermore, they can do the installation for you, so you don’t get hassled.
Make sure your gutters are clear and free of debris
Gutters full of debris can lead to several problems during the winter months. When snow and ice build-up in your gutters, it can cause them to sag or even collapse. This can damage your roof and cause water to leak into your home.
In addition, when gutters are full of debris, they cannot do their job correctly of draining water away from your home. This can lead to water damage to your home’s foundation and even the basement.
Ensure your gutters are clear and free of debris before the winter months arrive to prevent these problems. You can either clean them yourself or hire a professional to do it.
Each of these improvements will help to keep your home warm and comfortable during winter while also saving you money on your energy bills. So if you’re looking to get ready for winter, be sure to make these necessary home improvements!