5 Affordable Ways to Weatherproof Your Home December 1, 2021 As we enter the winter season and the cold begins leaking into our homes, it’s important to find affordable ways to stay warm and weatherproof your home. There are a few affordable steps you can take to ensure the cold stays outside the house – right where it belongs. Enjoy the dual benefit of staying warm and toasty and the possibility of saving a few bucks on your energy bill with these steps. 1. Stop Leaks With Weatherstripping There is a clever trick to help you determine if cold air is coming through the small cracks around your doors and windows. Hold a lit candle near the area where you think there may be a leak. If it flickers, air could be coming in. Weatherstripping is a popular winterization method because it’s affordable and easy to install. A roll of weatherstripping could cost around $5 at your local hardware store. 2. Stop Leaks With a Door Sweep The small gap under your door could let in as much cold air as an open window. Using a door sweep could help weatherproof your home by keeping out the cold air and – bonus – keeping out the bugs too! A door sweep is a small barrier you can install at the bottom of a door with just a few screws. Here’s one way to see if you may need to invest in a door sweep: Lay a sheet of paper on your door frame and close the door on it. If you’re able to pull the paper out easily without it tearing, the space under your door may be big enough to let in cold air. Door sweeps come in many styles and materials, but can usually be found in a hardware store for as low as $10. 3. Insulate Your Hot Water Heater Lots of heat can be lost through a hot water heater during colder months. Insulating the tank can help retain heat and reduce your monthly energy bill. But don’t try to cover up a hot water heater with an old comforter – a fire could start, and no one wants to be that toasty! Investing in a water heater tank cover could definitely pay off in the long run. 4. Install a Programmable Thermostat Fun fact: for every 1°F you turn down your thermostat, you use 1% less energy. ENERGY STAR estimates that up to $180 each year can be saved if a programmable thermostat is installed and properly used. Programmable thermostats allow you to automatically adjust the times your heat turns on and off, depending on when you’re home. This could save the hassle of trying to remember to adjust the temperature. And, if you have family members who love changing the temperature, this gives a great excuse to say, “hands off!” 5. Cover Your Windows With Plastic Sure, weatherstripping is a great way to keep out the cold air. But if you prefer going the nuclear route, covering windows completely with plastic will definitely help weatherproof your home! Plastic heat-shrink window coverings are typically cheap and easy to install. They keep the cold out and let the sun in – a win-win situation. Check out even more ways to save money and energy this holiday. However, even with these tips, it’s important to check in with your local OKFB agent and take some time to review your Home Insurance policy to ensure everything is updated and covered.