Happy Holidays from all of us at May Group Realtors with RE/MAX of Grand Rapids!
We know that with as much joy as the holiday season can bring, in West Michigan it also brings with it the snow and icy weather. We've gathered some tips from the smart people over at Popular Mechanics and Good Housekeeping to help any first-time home buyers and home owners (or just winter novices!) with winter-proofing your home for the season.
TIPS FOR WINTERPROOFING YOUR HOME:
- Check your furnace (and change filters when necessary). This may sound like an easy one to remember, but your furnace does extra work during the winter months and making sure you've got a clean filter in your furnace will ensure that your furnace won't need to provide more energy to heat through a dirty filter.
- Seal up the gaps and cracks and put plastic on your windows. Use caulk or spackle to fill in cracks, holes and gaps in any of your walls. Installing a plastic window shrink kit on the interior side of your windows will help keep out any air that may creep in due to older/worn out window frames. You can buy rolls on Amazon and shrink to seal the edges using an ordinary handheld air dryer. You can watch a tutorial here by Home Repair Tutor!
- Insulate your pipes and your A/C and water lines. Be sure to drain your hoses and A/C pipes of any additional water or moisture. Remove and store window A/C units to cut down on drafts. If you have a central A/C unit with a water shutoff valve, shut that off before winter. Insulate your pipes to help keep hot water hot and the pipes from freezing during the hard freezes of winter. Foam pipe insulation can be purchased here.
- Keep the cold outside where it belongs. By investing in a good rubber mat or plastic boot tray, you can significantly cut down the amount of ice and salt that comes into your house, protecting your floors from excess wear and your loved ones from slipping.
- Lower the temperature of your water heater. While most water heater tanks are set to a high temperature of 140 degrees Farenheit, you can lower it to about 120 degrees -- saving you money each month by lowering your water heating costs. You can also apply for Federal Solar Panel Tax Credits that can be used for a solar powered water heater. Find out more about Federal Solar Panel Tax Credits here.