This article is a featured writer Paul Denikin a DIY expert! Visit Pauls website here.
Winter is coming (and no, we’re not talking about the latest episode of Game of Thrones)! As summer winds down, it’s important to prepare your house and yard for the changing weather, inevitable cold, and the home maintenance required.
Don’t fret! Making your home winter-proof doesn’t have to cost a fortune or take a lot of time. Here are 3 inexpensive, easy, and energy-efficient ways to navigate the seasonal transition and weatherize your home like a boss!
- Prepare Window Kits to Save on Heating Costs
DIY window kits are a cheap and easy way to save on heating costs and live more sustainably during the winter months (you can actually use this technique for the summer months, too).
In fact, experts believe window kits can save you up to $20 per window, making them both smart and sustainable.
To do this, you’ll need window insulation film, double-sided window tape, a utility knife, and a hairdryer. Hardware stores sell complete window kits, but you can also buy the materials separately, depending on your preference and the materials you have handy. You might also need weather stripping materials or caulk if there are any gaps in between your windows and frames.
- First, measure any windows you plan to insulate. Before you start applying the plastic film, make sure your windows are locked, and that any extraneous accessories or hardware – like blinds or removable window openers – are out of the way. You don’t want anything puncturing the plastic. And if you’re a visual learner, this step-by-step tutorial allows you to follow along.
- Next, any necessary caulk or weather stripping.
- After that, clean and prepare the window trim, removing any dust, so that the window tape can adhere properly to the sill. If your windows are tall or wide, you might need the aid of a ladder or a vertically-gifted friend.
- Once the sills are dry, frame the window on the front of the sill with the double-sided window tape, making sure to reach around the entire window and overlap at the corners.
- After you’ve framed the window with tape, remove the plastic covering from its box, measure the plastic to fit the window, and cut it to fit. Be sure to leave some extra room on the sides.
- Next, remove the back of the double-sided tape.
- Apply the plastic to your window. Remember, it won’t be tight yet. That’s where the hairdryer will come in.
- Finally, starting at the edges and working your way in, use the hair dryer to tighten the plastic. It should also become more transparent, mimicking a regular window.
- If you’re worried about the window’s aesthetic, trim away the extra film, and voila! Energy-efficient windows on the cheap!
Remember that window weatherizing doesn’t stop indoors. You can also apply caulking and window kits to the outside of your windows. Just be sure to do it before the inclement weather hits.
- Close Down Your Pool
By closing down your pool properly in the fall, you’ll endure much less of a headache when re-opening it the following swim season.
- First, before closing up shop, check for the proper pH balance. Remember that it’s ideal for the pool’s pH to be between 7.2 and 7.6. If the pH is off, make any necessary pH changes. Don’t wait to deal with it in the spring.
- Next, grab a winter weatherizing kit and follow the instructions. The tools included will ensure your water is healthy and beautiful when you open the following season.
- After that, you’ll want to lower the water level so that the water’s surface hits below the skimmer.
- Finally, add a safety or winter cover to keep the pool safe from all sorts of debris, algae, and anyone tempted to go ice skating on the water’s frozen surface.
- Catch Those Drafts
Take a cue from homemakers of old and stop drafts in their tracks by using rubber, vinyl, or even handmade fabric draft catchers to keep cold air from leaking in and spiking your heating bills. And if you have a fireplace, consider fitting it with glass doors or some kind of barrier to prevent chimney drafts.
Weatherization Means You Care
All of these winter-proofing strategies are easy, affordable, and environmentally responsible. With some DIY spirit, a little patience, and the proper tools, your home and pool will remain beautiful – and hassle-free – for years to come.