Brilliant Frugal Winterizing!
Hey all! The month of October is absolutely perfect for winterizing your home – the weather hasn’t gotten too cold yet, there’s still loads of daylight. It’s an outstanding opportunity to move around your home on a beautiful weekend afternoon to shore up energy leaks before they cost you big bucks in the upcoming months. Read on for easy tips that will save you hundreds of dollars (if not more) this upcoming winter!
(1) Look around Doors & Windows for drafts and leaks: these pesky drafts are everywhere, and often cause waste upwards of 20% of your energy bill! Forget the home improvement shows that suggest getting rid of drafts requires a contractor or pricey new gizmos. Rather, hit your local hardware store for a few tubes of caulk and easy-to-use weatherstripping! With a few dollars worth of materials, you can save hundreds on energy bills with just a few hours of work.
(2) Exterior Vents: wherever you have a vent leading out of the house (dryers, telephone, electrical, cable, gas, water lines), you have huge potential for energy-draining gaps and leaks. Behold, an easy to use caulk gun! It’s a top notch asset in any frugal household, and – let’s face it – the kids think you look totally cool when you pull one of these out and put it to work. “Look! Mom’s fixing that hole in the house with a big tube of toothpaste!” (an actual quote in my house). If it saves big energy costs and entertains the kids, that’s a win-win in my book.
(3) Clean out your air and furnace filters – the windows are about to stay closed up for months, and the furnace is about to go into overdrive. Keep your home’s air quality high (and the workload on your furnace low) by keeping the filters changed on a regular basis.
(4) Wrap your pipes! It sounds like a boring chore – and let’s face it, it is. Trust me on this, experience has shown time and again that it pays off huge as soon as we have our first deep freeze. Where the neighbors will have frozen pipes (or even worse, burst frozen pipes), you’ll have running water and far fewer mornings with a hair dryer trained on a ceiling pipe in the basement.
(5) Buy a sweater – or ten! Looking for a frugal investment that costs $5 and can save you up to $500 (or more!) in the three months of winter? Behold, a fabulous, thick, gorgeous designer sweater, purchased for 95% off at your local consignment or thrift store. Even in the coldest winter days, wearing a fabulous heavy sweater keeps your body comfortably warm even if you turn the heat down by as much as 5 degrees. That kind of lower room temperature translates into huge savings when the winter energy bills roll in.
Kristen Hagopian is a Syndicated Radio Talk Show Host, Columnist & Author of Brilliant Frugal Living. She resides in her as-of-yet unfinished fixer upper in Chester County, PA with her husband and kids. The Kristen Hagopian Show airs on BizTalkRadio and you can find her online at https://biztalkradio.com/kristen-hagopian/