With the warm summer days quickly disappearing, the cool days of fall will be here faster than you think. The crisp, chilly days of October are beautiful but they do create a few challenges for homeowners to tackle. Winter can be harsh with its freezing temperatures and drifts of snow, so it’s important to make sure your home is ready for the cold weather that is fast approaching. If you are wondering what sort of projects to tackle this month, here are a few eco-friendly ways to winterize your home this month.
Invest in additional insulation: It makes little sense to heat your home only to have that heat escape through the roof. Consider hiring a contractor to add additional insulation. There are many green alternatives to traditional insulation materials that would reduce your home's carbon footprint even more.
Wrap your windows in plastic: While an investment of double paned windows and more weather stripping would be nice, it isn't always financially feasible. Consider buying plastic sheeting designed to be attached to windows to keep out the cold and keep the heat in. You can find this at many large home supply centers.
Use landscaping to protect your home from wind: People have continuously protected their homes from the elements by planting evergreen trees. When planted in the right orientation, these trees acted as a wind breaker. Conifer trees, when planted near your home, can also help block winter winds and reduce heating costs.
Protect your hot water heater: Generally, hot water heaters are located in chilly garages or basements, making them work much harder than they need to. Help keep your water warm with less energy by wrapping your hot water heater in a thermal blanket. Also think about installing a timer on your water heater so it isn’t heating when you don’t need to use it.
Reverse the direction of your ceiling fan: Ceiling fans are great for cooling off a room but they can also help you feel warmer in the chill of October. Make sure your ceiling fans move in a clockwise direction so they push hot air trapped up on the ceiling towards the floor.
Use your fireplace wisely: Fireplaces can be a great source of heat but you need to do your research. Invest in a heat generating insert to boost the heating capabilities of your fireplace. And make sure you keep the flue closed when it is not in use.
Check your home's foundation: The foundation of your home should be inspected before cold weather moves in. Make sure to seal all cracks to prevent water from leaking in. Consider layering straw bales around the foundation of your home for added insulation and warmth. The hay can be used as compost once spring finally arrives.
Do you know any other eco-friendly ways to winterize your home?