While owning a home may sound expensive or overwhelming, the truth is homeowners are actually eligible for a huge list of perks when it comes time to do your taxes. If you’re thinking about becoming a first-time home buyer, be sure to check out this list of deductions so you have a good idea of what to expect when you buy your first home. If you already own a home, good news – we’ve got a list of the most important deductions right here to help you get the most money back possible.
Living in a northern climate can be tough during the winter. In addition to the pain of driving on the ice and snow, it costs a lot just to stay warm.
That gas or electricity that you’re using to stay warm costs money. If you live in an older house, or one with lousy insulation, a lot of that money is escaping out of cracks, windows and your roof. Check out this article from the Washington Post and see just where the heat is leaving and how much it’s costing you.
The best way to keep that heat in is to add extra insulation to your roof and attic. We’re going to share a few additional, low-cost and easy ways to keep the warm air in your house, and that hot cash in your pocket.
Not a fan of the itchy, cotton candy-looking stuff? Check out these alternatives:
Seal the Doors (Around $10)
Be wary of anything in your house that opens to the outside. Doors that aren’t properly fitted to the frame form gaps between the warm inside and the cold outside.
Most of the time, these gaps are at the bottom of the door. If you can feel a draft at the bottom of your door, get rid of it with a draft excluder. A draft excluder is just a fancy term for a tube of insulation that you install at the bottom of the door to keep the warm air from escaping and the cold air from coming inside.
You can find them at most hardware or home improvement stores. Draft excluders come in many shapes, sizes and designs, from practical to decorative. They’re a pretty simple concept, so you can even make them yourself for a fun arts and crafts project.
Caulk Your Windows (Around $20)
Even if your windows are closed, it doesn’t mean they’re airtight. Heat loss is a pesky and persistent enemy. It’s a prisoner that wants nothing more than to escape your house.
When your windows were installed, they were sealed to the frame to help keep your house insulated. But over time, this seal breaks down and gaps form, making convenient escape routes for your heat.
If these gaps between your window frame and windows exist, time to break out the caulk and seal them up. Don’t know your way around a caulking gun? No worries. Check out this video for beginners (or dummies).
Insulate Your Window Panes (Around $25 for a Standard House)
Surprisingly enough, the glass on your windows is not 100% effective in keeping heat from leaving your house. If they’re old, heat might be flying right out of your windows.
To prevent this, all you have to do is grab some window insulation film and tape it up. This transparent barrier prevents heat transfer and keeps warm air from escaping. You can find this at any local hardware of home improvement store and you can use it from year to year. In a pinch, you can even use bubble wrap.
Not sure how to put it up? Check this video out.
Wrap Your Hot Water Tank (Around $25)
Proper insulation of your hot water tank can help save on your winter energy costs as well. If your home has a tankless water heater, never mind this step. But if your home has a tank-style water heater, especially an older one, chances are the insulation is worn down.
Grab an insulation blanket from your local hardware or home improvement store and give your hot water tank a nice warm hug. This should cut down on the energy needed to keep your hot water, well, hot.
Learn more about how to wrap your tank, and the positive effects of doing so here.
Making your home energy efficient requires diligence, especially during the winter. But with a few supplies and a few hours of time, you could potentially save up to 30% on your winter heating costs. These days, that’s no small amount of money.
Want to take your energy efficiency to the next level? Check out these energy saving tips and start saving.
Got any more heat-saving tips? Share in the comments!