Winter is just around the corner. Days are getting shorter, the weather is getting cold, and there are holidays to prepare for!
For many, winter is a stressful time of year. Lots of people go over budget at the start of the season, then they have to deal with soaring heating bills and damages to the home.
If you’re hoping to save a little trouble, now is the time to get started. Here are a few ways you can prevent damage, reduce stress, and save money this winter.
Clean up and get organized
Messy, cluttered environments cause stress and reduce our ability to focus. Start winterizing by picking things up and putting them away. Get organized, make donations, and sell what you don’t need anymore. Selling things online is easier now than ever.
When you’re done tidying up, deep clean your space. Dust, vacuum, mop, and wipe down your furniture. You’ll be happy that you did, and your home will be better protected against pests. Cleaning up is a great way to start any project.
Pest-proof the exterior
Pest-proofing is often overlooked, but it’s a cost-effective and a great way to avoid a pest problem. Mice, spiders, cockroaches, and centipedes are common in the winter. Grab some caulking and fill every gap you find in your window frames, door frames, fascia boards, and siding. Close the openings around cable lines, faucets, and vents. Then, cover your vents with a quarter inch mesh to keep rodents out. Fix broken window screens.
If you need help, reach out to Cockroach Control Oshawa or another professional near you. They can pest-proof your property for you and get rid of any existing pests quickly.
Add weatherstripping to your doors and windows to keep the cold out. This will help you save on your heating bills and make you feel more comfortable. You’ll also be preventing any mice from crawling under the door. Visit your local hardware store and find weatherstripping that you can cut and install yourself.
Insulate with thermal curtains and rugs
Windows can lose up to 20 times more heat than the insulated walls around them. To reduce this loss, add heavy drapes or thermal curtains to your windows. Open them during the day to let in the sun, then close them when it gets dark. For bonus insulation, try adding rugs to your floors. You can find rugs at competitive prices online and from off-price retailers.
Shop early for holidays
Book your travel arrangements now, before things run out. You can also take advantage of sales and order things well in advance. Shopping at the last minute might encourage you to make impulse buys and spend more money than you had to. If you start your shopping now, you will know that your items will arrive on time that will save you a lot of stress.
Clean the gutters
Clean the gutters now before it snows and it’s too cold to do it safely. Doing so will prevent serious damages, like flooding in the basement, water damage in the walls, and attic leakages. Scoop all the leaves and debris into buckets, then rinse the gutters clean. Then, you can add gutter guards to prevent blockages in the downspouts.
Cover patio furniture
Cover your patio furniture with waterproof covers or put them away in the garage for the winter. This is an easy task that will prolong the life of your furniture, saving it from rust and winter damage. In the spring, simply take the covers off and wipe the furniture down with a cloth. You’ll be ready for patio season in no time at all.
Change the furnace filter
Now is a good time to clean or replace your furnace filter. The filter in your HVAC system gets clogged with dust over time, which strains the system and takes more energy to function. Fixing the filter will only cost a few bucks, but it will save you on your bills and help you breathe better.
Program the thermostat for cold weather
Do you leave the house to go to work? Turn the temperature down a few degrees when you leave, then turn it back up when you get back. Heating may account for as much as 70% of your bill. If you can make the investment, switch to a programmable thermostat so you can set a schedule and it will do it for you automatically.
Take advantage of off-peak hours
Evenings and weekends are typically the cheapest time to do energy-intensive activities, like doing laundry and running the dishwasher. Find your energy supplier’s pricing scheme online, then use your large appliances accordingly. Most places have “off-peak hours” during which it costs less to do the same things. Taking these hours into account will save you money on your energy bills.
Drain the hose and shut off exterior faucets
Remove the hose, drain it, then put it away in the garage or in a shed. Then, close the valve to the exterior faucet and empty it. This will prevent any water from freezing and causing damage to the hose, or worse, causing the pipe to burst.