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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

5 Home Improvement Tips to Implement Before Winter

Written by Posted On Monday, 11 September 2017 19:29
winter winter

Summer is slowly fading away and not everyone is thrilled about it. Whether you are a fan of winter or not, you have to admit that your home expenses go through the roof during the colder months. Of course, various heating solutions are the biggest issue. In my time as a realty expert, I’ve spoken with many families that feel as though no matter how much money they spend on heating, their home still doesn’t feel warm and cozy enough, which is a common reason why they choose to move.

When speaking with each family, I always have the same advice: before you move, do something about it. There are various home improvements you can make to change winter living conditions in your house. These improvements come with at least two benefits: first, your house will become warmer, cozier and less expensive to maintain during the winter; and second, even if you decide to move after all these simple changes will significantly increase your home’s market value.

So, let’s take a look at five most important improvements you should make before the first snow falls.

Upgrade your heating system

Did you know that 30% of an average home energy costs are related to heating? If your boiler system or furnace is for some reason damaged or inefficient this percent can spike even further. My main advice for my customers is to save some money before the heating season starts and purchase new high-quality and healthy pleated or electrostatic filter. These filters should be replaced at the beginning of every winter and every couple of months while you are running your furnace.

This investment will decrease the energy consumption, prevent potential carbon monoxide leaks, and keep the air inside your home safe and healthy.

Install wood panels

Wood panels are known to offer great acoustic and thermal insulation, which means they will keep your home’s warmth within its walls. At the same time, wooden wall siding is extremely durable. Everett, wood panel expert and founder of E & S Tiles has found that, in some cases, wood wall tiles can last up to fifty years, depending on the conditions. Wood tiles don’t collect dirt or discolor easily. Even in rare situations that it does get damaged due to moisture, it can be replaced or repaired quickly.

As a bonus, the aesthetics of wood tiles are associated with rich elegance and retro look, so wooden panels will increase the price of your house if you are looking to sell.

Seal your walls

You surely wouldn’t want for cold air to penetrate through your walls and cause fluctuations in room temperature. This is why I always recommend sealing your walls before the winter knocks on your door. If you know where and how to look, a tube of high-quality caulk will do the job. Infrared thermometers can also come in handy in your hunt for problematic spots.

Holes - particularly where your plugs, switches and electric box are installed - are the most common points where cold air can breach in. So, turn off the electricity, test the outlets to be certain they are off and seal the holes around the wiring using caulk.

Install storm windows

Storm windows can be pricey. You’ll have to invest more money in it, but after 3-6 years of energy reduction and savings will repay for the costs. If your house has old windows, replacing them with new, energy-efficient ones would be an ideal option, but storm windows will work great and increase your house’s value too.

Except for saving the energy, they offer many other benefits, such as UV and sound reduction, increased comfort, reduced condensation, sash protection, and security. Mid-priced storm windows often use glass, plastic panels or special plastic sheets that come with mentioned qualities. However, always choose interior over exterior ones because they are easier to install, maintain, remove and are also much more efficient.

Implement forms of renewable energy

Saving money and Earth’s resources at the same time is always a good idea. If you are living in a windy area, you probably have a lot of trouble with keeping your house warm during winter, yet did you know you have tremendous renewable energy potential on your hands? Studies have shown that the wind is the most efficient form of renewable energy, with geothermal, hydro, nuclear and solar energy right behind it. Solar is an especially good option for families looking to cut back on their carbon footprint, as an average household that implements solar panels reduces their carbon emissions by approximately 62 tons over 25 years.

Global Wind Energy Council estimates that wind power could provide as much as 25-30% of global electricity by 2050. If you choose to install rooftop solar panels, solar water heating system, wind turbines or Tesla Powerwall your costs will drop and you realtor will be able to advertise your house as eco-friendly one.

Whether you choose to upgrade your heating system, seal your walls, implement forms of renewable energy or all five of the above options, just be sure to have your projects complete and revalued before you put it back on the market again. You don’t want to go through all this work for nothing!

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