New Year: Winter Home Improvement Projects
In the winter, many of us are forced to rely on our homes more than any other season. A shelter from snow and freezing temperatures, it's the place where we spend the majority of our time. Our lives retreat indoors. Our bodies hibernate until the spring thaw. Relying on our homes as much as we do, it's essential to make sure everything is in working order before the winter season begins. The following are a few home improvement projects to help you prepare for Old Man Winter and stay as comfortable as possible in the cold.
Shield Against Storms
Sleet, snow and ice can do some damage to your roof and gutters, especially if you haven't prepared them to handle the burden of winter weather. Getting your roof in shape for the cold means clearing out any debris left over from the fall season. Scooping out leaves and other residue prevents water from plugging up and freezing into ice dams. It's also a good idea to check your roof for withering shingles or gaps and cracks. Even the hint of a leak in the warmer months could prove disastrous when the snow begins to pile up, so try to fix any small problems right away.
Most people don't realize they have gaps and cracks in their walls and doors until the wind starts whistling. Instead of making the furnace work even harder when you feel a draft, try to beat the winter season by sealing any openings you may find. Tattered windows and doors are great places to start, but you should also take a closer look at whether or not recessed lighting, chimneys and pull-down attic stairs are insulated to prevent your home from being forced to pump out more heat than necessary.
Smart Thermostat Savings
Many things begin to plummet after the holidays are over: the temperature, book sales, our flimsy hope for a quick and mild winter. With the help of a programmable thermostat, your energy bill could start to plummet as well. The handy device allows you to put your thermostat on a unique schedule, including setting it at lower temperatures when you aren't at home or when you're sleeping. Newer thermostats even give you the ability to change settings using a mobile device.
When exposed to freezing temperatures pipes can crack and burst. Check the attic, crawlspace and garage for any unprotected pipes, as well as the area around your home's exterior. You can insulate those pipes with regular fiberglass insulation or special fiberglass sleeves. If you're really worried about a pipe freezing, consider wrapping it with heat tape for even more reassurance. If you're too late and a pipe has already frozen, thaw it out before applying the new insulation. Use a hair dryer, heat lamp or iron, and thaw without pouring boiling water directly onto the exposed pipe.
Improve Your Mood
Short days, long nights and cold temperatures can get you feeling down during the winter months. The great thing about your home is that you can decorate it to help improve your mood while you wait for spring. A simple way to help your home feel warm, inviting and fresh is to add a new paint color to a room. You can also get your fireplace up and running for a cozy feel on colder nights, add natural accents like flowers and plants, or simply distract yourself by redecorating a space (though you might want to hold off on incorporating that cold piece of metal wall art you received for Christmas).
While you warm up between insulated walls, your home does its best to stand up against the harsh winter elements. Do your part in preparing your home for the cold season before it starts so you won't have to spend much time digging around your toolbox as the months slowly roll by. Once you have your house ready for battle, get back to life inside those warm walls with a variety of fun and functional products from LTD Commodities.