As fall approaches, don’t let the shorter days and cooler temperatures keep you from tackling some important do-it-yourself projects. Check out these simple projects that let you prepare your home for winter without consuming your whole weekend.
Cooler temperatures outside mean an increased need for warm water inside. Make sure you’re helping your water heater keep up with the demand by installing a water heater blanket.
The blanket insulates the water heater, which results in less energy to heat the same amount of water. And less energy means a significant difference on your next gas or electricity bill. For more information on safely installing a water heater blanket, check out this quick YouTube video.
Windows & Doors
Another big drain on your winter utility bill is drafts from windows and doors. Weak sealing around your windows and doors can be like flushing money down the drain. Be sure to strip away and replace old caulking around windows, doors and any other areas cold air might leak in. Check out this article from the National Association of Home Builders to learn more about caulking.
This next project is important for those of us living in older homes, especially those built with crawl spaces or still utilizing a radiator system for heat. Wrapping your pipes in the winter can save you the incredibly costly repair and replacement of a burst pipe due to freezing. Wrapping pipes with an insulated pad similar to the water heater blanket mentioned earlier will keep the water inside above freezing and your pipes intact.
A DIY project list for wrapping pipes can be found on this website.
Although programmable thermostats are often thought of saving money during the summer, they are equally as important in the winter. For the northern states where winters can get especially brutal, a programmable thermostat will make sure you aren’t wasting any energy heating the home when you won’t be there.
Some programmable thermostats are even day-specific to maximize your savings. Check out this short video on how to install a programmable thermostat in a snap.
Keeping Plants Alive
What about all of those plants you worked so hard to grow over the summer? It’d be a shame if they died over the winter.
While you may not be able to save everything, knowing to move stoneware pots inside and to lay down heavy mulch over annual bulbs will ensure your plants are perky as ever come spring.
Unlike some DIY projects that leave homeowners biting off more than they can chew, these simple projects take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, but will have lasting effects on making your home prepared for the winter as well as protecting your pocketbook.
Photos courtesy of brianc & fishkite.