There is a noticeable chill in the air in most areas of the country this time of year. If you or someone you know is living on a fixed income, the cooler weather can strain finances. If your home is older and energy-inefficient, you could be feeling the strain even more. We have highlighted three simple tips to keep your home warmer this winter.1
Weatherproof Your Windows. If installing brand new, energy-efficient windows isn’t in your budget, weatherproofing your current windows can help slow the cold air from seeping into your home. First, inspect each of your windows for cracks in the glass or frame to see what can be repaired. Most hardware stores sell “shrink and seal” kits that seal to insulate the window glass. Caulking or using spray foam in any cracks you find in the window frame can further block cold air from entering through the windows.
Maintain Your Furnace and Ductwork. If your furnace is not running efficiently, you could be wasting valuable heat and money. Make sure you change your furnace filters regularly. Most filters should be changed monthly or every six months. A quick look into your ducts to check for mold or pests can save you a significant headache in months to come if you catch and repair the problem early. You may also consider having your furnace and ducts professionally cleaned. Professional furnace and duct maintenance does require an upfront cost, but regular upkeep of your furnace and ducts could extend the life of your heating system to ensure that it runs properly each year.
Eliminate Drafts. Drafts can cool a home quickly if not sealed properly. If you have a chimney, check the flue to make sure it closes securely. If you have window air conditioning units or swamp coolers, make sure they are covered with the correct size covers. Check around pipes, electrical outlets and light switches to see if cold air is coming in through them. If so, there are foam inserts you can install behind outlet covers and switch plate covers and foam insulation is a great option to insulate indoor pipes.
If you would like to know more about properly insulating your home for winter, many energy companies do energy audits. Some companies may even do the audits for free. Energy companies will also be able to tell you about rebates that may be available for updating appliances, heating systems or even windows and insulation.
For many homeowners, maintaining and updating their home for greater energy efficiency can be expensive. If you are struggling to afford preparing your home for winter, a reverse mortgage loan could be a great option to provide you with the extra funds to make the updates you need. A reverse mortgage loan is available to qualified seniors who are at least 62 years old and have significant equity in their home. For more information about reverse mortgage loans and how you might qualify, call 866-751-6105.