If you live in the Nashville area, you know how quickly winter can appear. A couple weeks ago, we were all ambling around in t-shirts, enjoying the sun’s gentle warmth, and the next morning we stepped outside and it was in the 40s. It’s bound to get even colder as winter sets in, so here are 5 tips for how to keep your home functioning properly and looking its best through the winter season.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “42% of a homeowner’s utility bill is spent on heating and cooling costs,” but proper insulation “can cut those costs by an average of 20%.” If your energy bill seems too high, walls are cold to the touch, or temperature fluctuates from room to room, you may not have enough insulation.
While it can be difficult to determine the exact amount of insulation your house has without peeling up a baseboard or paying someone to do an inspection, if your house has an attic, these diagrams from Energy Star can help you determine if you need more or better insulation.
You can lose massive amounts of heat through even one improperly-sealed door or window. When warm air is sucked out and cold air seeps in through the cracks, your house becomes drafty and your energy bill soars. By investing in weather stripping, you not only save yourself money and the discomfort of a chilly house–you also keep out critters like spiders and mice, who may see your house as their own haven from the cold.
Remove dead or decaying branches on trees near your house, whether by doing it yourself or hiring a landscaping professional. Ice can make these branches brittle, and the weight of snow or the force of high winds can send them smashing onto your roof or busting through your car’s windshield.
Which reminds us, check your roof for any damage or weak spots before an issue arises. Not only do you lose a quarter of your house’s heat through your roof, but if water finds its way past your roof, it can do expensive damage to your ceilings and walls. Make sure your gutters are clear while you’re up there too, and check them occasionally through the coldest months to make sure ice doesn’t clog them up.
Draping your sofas and chairs with plush blankets or quilts not only makes your home cozy for guests, it also allows you to save money by turning the heat down and relying on those blankets for a little extra warmth. And large area rugs not only spruce up your interior design, they also add a layer of insulation to hard tile or wood floors, by “trapping cool air underneath and keeping it from seeping up and cooling the room.”
Another word to the wise: if you’re going to crank the thermostat down, just make sure not to leave it below 55 degrees for longer than a day or two, since your pipes have a chance of freezing if they stay below that temperature for too long.
So there you have it! Follow these five tips to help your house run more efficiently, stay intact, and retain warmth through winter’s cold fronts. That way, you can spend less time worrying about your house, and more time curled up on the couch with a mug of hot chocolate and a favorite book, a scented candle flickering on the table, while relaxing music wafts from the speakers. Here’s to a wonderful winter season!
As always, we at Dwell Music City would be happy to talk with you about anything related to buying or selling a house. Contact us here