It’s winter in Florida so you may think winter-proofing your home is not necessary in our warmer climate. Not so fast! Taking the time to assess your home to be sure it’s ready for the colder weather can keep more of your dollars in your pocket.
Sure, we’re not as cold for as long as our neighbors to the north, but we still need to be ready. Even if it is only for a couple of months. Here are 5 really easy ways to save money by winter-proofing your home.
Money Saver #1: Find the Drafty Holes
On a breezy day, walk around holding a lit incense stick or even a candle and hold it up to windows, outlets, recessed lighting, and door jams. If the smoke or flame starts moving, you know you have a leak.
Patching up your leaks by using door sweeps, caulk, and outlet gaskets will keep cold from creeping into your home. It’ll also help keep out the Florida bugs in the summer. And who doesn’t want that!
Money Saver #2: Check your Insulation Levels
The industry standard is having at least 12 inches of insulation in your attic. Don’t worry about measuring your insulation to check. Just look in your attic and if you see your ceiling joists, you don’t have enough. Ceiling joists are typically at most 10-11 inches. If you do decide to add more insulation, be sure to add the kind that doesn’t have the paper backing which will act as a moisture barrier. This can cause future moisture problems within the existing insulation.
Money Saver#3: Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
This is a tip that’s easily forgotten. When you turn your fan’s switch to the winter function it works to push warm air back down and keep it circulating. This saves on your heating bill. It’s ready for winter when it turns clockwise.
Money Saver#4: Wrap Any Exposed Pipes
A burst pipe is a huge and costly problem. To prevent this, see if you have any pipes that flow through garages, crawlspaces, or basements. If so, wrap them with foam or rubber sleeves to keep them protected. We don’t have too many freezing nights in Florida, but when they do show up – you want to be ready.
Money Saver #5: Check Your Alarms
This may not seem like a winter-proofing item, but with so many fires happening when homes are trying to stay warm on cold nights; it’s essential to be sure that your smoke detectors are working properly in case of an emergency.
These items may or may not cost you any money upfront, but they most certainly will save you money by keeping your heater from running continuously or simply by preventing a devastating and costly disaster from happening in the future.
If you have any winter-proofing tips, leave us a comment below. We’d love to hear what you do!