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Going Green: Winterize Your Home; Save Energy, Cash

A few bucks spent this fall can cut expenses come winter time.

Last weekend was a productive one. My husband and I winterized our space, with me focusing on the closets while he took care of our townhouse. With just a couple days left until October, we're hoping to minimize our heating expenses and enjoy a cozy abode.

A few projects made a big difference. Experts say owners and renters can make the most of do-it-yourself winterizing, with ideas like these:

  • Check your doors. We didn't realize how much cold air was seeping in through our interior garage door until Jeff put the new sealer on. During the process, he could feel the cold air through the space, and temperatures are still in the 60s. Imagine what a difference that will make when we're in December chills. Our goal is to keep our heat from kicking in as much as we can. Keeping the temperature steady is the best way to do that, since it's the rise and fall that are the most expensive.
  • Seal off windows. Home improvement stores have a thick, durable plastic with adhesive on one side, and when placed on the outer frame of a window, it seals out the cold. This product is great year-round, of course, because it keeps the cool air inside when we want it.
  • Maximize natural heating. The sun's rays make a big difference during the day, even on the coldest ones. Open your blinds or drapes and let the sun warm your home.
  • Plan for time away. If you're headed away for a long holiday weekend, be sure to have a friend or neighbor check on your home. Water should be turned off completely, and the home's temperature should be monitored. Be mindful of unplugging electrical appliances too.

Another favorite tip of mine is bagging leaves and stacking the bags against one of your home's walls. It may not seem like an attractive insulator, but when snow covers the bags, who'll know?

Here's to a mild winter and an energy efficient season!

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