Fall is here and all across the country the leaves are changing as temperatures dip from their muggy summer highs.
For the rest of the country that doesn’t live in eternal summer it’s time to start buttoning things up to keep your old home warm this winter.
I’m going to share 4 easy tips that can make a huge difference in your heating bill this winter. Check these items off your to do list before the end of October and they’ll pay for themselves.
Tip #1 Rope CaulkHow many of you open your windows in the dead of winter? I didn’t think so. If you don’t have any storm windows installed now would be the time to get them ordered and installed before the super cold months hit.
I love my old windows more than most folks and in the winter months when they won’t be used you should consider temporarily sealing them up with rope caulk. Even with storm windows rope caulk is a simple and affordable way to seal up any air gaps you might have.
Rope caulk comes in rolls and you press it into place along the gap where the sash meets the trim. It air seals the window and can easily be peeled away in the spring without marking or leaving any residue.
Tip #2 Fireplace Damper Hopefully, your old home’s fireplace or chimney has been upgraded with a damper. If not the time is now. A lot of older houses didn’t have a damper installed on their chimney. While this isn’t a big deal in the summer the chimney is like a super highway for hot air to escape during the winter.
Without a damper hot air will run its way out of your house and cold air (which is heavier if you remember your 7th grade science) will sink down the chimney.
Call a chimney sweep in to get the chimney cleaned and have them install a damper while they are there. It will likely run you anywhere from $150-$400 for a new damper. Totally worth it!
Tip #3 Check the Doors While I’d love to rope caulk my doors too I have a feeling I’ll be needing them during the winter. So, now is the time to check the weatherstripping on them. If you’ve been toying with the idea of installing 100 yr. spring bronze now would be a good time. You can read more about weatherstripping doors in my post:
If you’re still sticking with adhesive backed foam check that it is still working. After a couple years this kind of weatherstripping gets compressed and looses its effectiveness. Replace what’s worn out and you’ll be good for another couple seasons.
Tip # 4 Tune Up the FurnaceIt’s the one thing that absolutely can’t break when it gets cold. Your furnace is often neglected since it is buried in the attic or some back room like it has been a bad, bad furnace.
Bring in a pro for around $80 or do-it-yourself. Either way get the furnace tuned up and checked out to make sure it is performing at peak efficiency.
Not only will you catch potential problems before they start but you will have a furnace that uses less fuel and heats your house the way it was designed to.