We’re in the thick of winter! Colder weather can bring in high utility bills derailing the budget, and making credit card debt relief even more difficult. Therefore, the timing is more than appropriate to share some weatherization projects you might want to consider. Weatherization projects that add energy savings and warmth to your home can help you save some extra cash this season.
Weatherization Projects – Interior Fixes
Clean or Replace the Air Filter in Your Furnace
Save money by changing the air filter in your furnace. Proper filter maintenance can lead to better performance, efficiency and years that your furnace will be up and running. Stay on top of your filters for maximum efficiency and improved indoor air quality.
Examine Exposed Ducts
Don’t let your money fly through the air! Ducts in the attic, basement and crawl spaces can leak significant amounts of air. This can cause your utility bills to rise and create uneven temperatures throughout the home. Use sealant or metallic tape to plug up any leaks in the ducts and save money.
Flush the Hot Water Heater Tank
Flushing the hot water tank will provide some TLC to keep your system running efficiently, saving you money and headaches. No one likes a cold shower! Be sure to also check the pressure relief valve to make sure it’s in proper working order.
Save money and inconvenience by weatherizing your home’s exposed pipes. Insulating pipes from freezing and potentially bursting is a great preventative measure. Insulated pipes will deliver hotter water and help converse water, saving you money all over the place.
Check for Drafts Around Windows and Doors.
Don’t let your heat switch places with a cold draft. Make sure seams are all sealed up and weather stripping is in place. Caulk inside and out, where necessary, to keep heat from escaping. Similarly, inspect windows for cracks, broken glass, or gaps and repair if needed. This should be quick to diagnose and easy to finish with just a few tools and materials.
Weatherization Projects – Exterior Fixes
Shut off Exterior Faucets
Drain water from outdoor pipes, valves, and sprinkler heads. This simple step can prevent pipes from bursting which can be a very costly and inconvenient repair. This weatherization task will save you money and is free to complete.
Trim Overgrown Branches
Get overgrown branches away from the house and electrical wires to prevent potential property damage. You may need to hire a professional tree service company, however, you will still be rewarded in savings by taking preventative weatherization measures.
Ensure rain or snow drains away from the house to avoid foundation problems. The dirt grade should slope away from the house. Add extra dirt to low areas, as necessary. Foundation or structural repairs can be extremely costly, leading to a variety of other problems. Keep your basement dry and foundation looking good.
Check the Gutters & Downspouts
Re-secure gutters or downspouts if loose or sagging. The weight of snow and ice can pull gutters off the house. Make sure downspouts extend away from the house by at least 5 feet to prevent flooding of the foundation and water damage from snow melt. This is another smart weatherization chore that saves money and increases safety.
Repair Peeling Paint
Peeling paint is more than just an eyesore. The paint acts as a moisture barrier for your home. When it’s compromised, damage can ensue. Keep your home sealed to avoid future expenses.
A home is a costly investment. Taking the right precautions and completing weatherization projects every winter can lead to dollars saved rather than money spent on repairs.
While these weatherization projects can help lower your utility bills, freeing up some extra money to pay down debt, it may not be enough. If you find that you still are not able to pay off your debt as quickly as you had hoped, a nonprofit credit counseling agency might be able to help! They may be able to enroll you in a debt management program.
To speak to a certified credit counselor at American Consumer Credit Counseling, call 800-769-3571.