Buying a home is one of the most exciting purchases you will make in your life. After you buy it and get ready to move in, you will probably make a few changes to make it your own. For example, you can paint it, change the carpets, and arrange the furniture and décor. There can also be more serious repairs, such as fixing the plumbing or roof.
One of the major considerations with a newly purchased home is to weather-proof it. If you want your home more comfortable and reduce bills, here are some ways to help make sure your newly purchased home is ready for the cold winter months.
Seal up leaks – Leaks can be abundant in your newly purchased home if the previous owners were not careful to maintain the property. Your doors and windows can let out substantial heat which can raise your heating bill. Caulk around doors and windows, and seal up any leaks in your heating ducts. Also check if you have air leaks around electrical plugs on the wall or floor.
Set your thermostat once – You can save money on your gas or electric bill just by turning your thermostat up a degree or two. You may not even notice the difference in temperature when you change the setting from, say, 75 degrees to 74 degrees. You will also be helping the environment by saving this extra energy. Do not make major changes in temperature when you’re not home. The cost for your heating system to catch up when you come home offsets the savings with drastic thermostat changes during the day.
Add insulation – If your home has an attic, insulate it or add extra insulation. This is particularly important if your newly purchased home was built more than 10 years ago since older homes have less insulation in the ceiling and walls. Insulating your newly purchased home can prevent loss of heat during winter. Be sure to add insulation and/or weatherstripping to the attic access panel or pull down stairs – that is a big area of heat loss in homes. As a bonus, your new home will be cooler in summer.
Change your light bulbs – During the short days of winter, you may be awake several hours a day while it is dark outside. That can translate to keeping the lights on in your house quite a bit. Change the light bulbs from older, traditional incandescent bulbs to halogen incandescent or compact fluorescent replacements, which use less energy.
Get your sprinklers ready – To avoid having pipes burst when water freezes in them, winterize your sprinkler system if you have one. Disconnect hoses outside, even if the weather is sometimes warm during the winter months. Older-style exterior faucets should be set to drip or drain the water lines if you have a separate disconnect for outside faucets. If you’re not sure, your inspection report may tell you if you have a separate water shut-off for exterior faucets.