As winter approaches, it is time to prepare for colder temps and the chance of snow. In addition to preparing yourself, you also need to make adjustments around the home so you can ensure that you stay warm and comfy until spring arrives again. The good news is that with proper planning, you can get your house ready while also helping the environment. By doing so, you can ensure that generations of people can continue to enjoy a planet that has done so much for us since the dawn of time.
It may seem like a major undertaking, but really, you can winterize your home in a sustainable way by making reasonable modifications and small changes that can make a big difference. Let’s talk about ideas you can start today.
Make Smart Improvements Around the House
The first thing that you can do is take this opportunity to start making improvements and energy-saving upgrades around the house. A small first step that you can take is to switch out your incandescent bulbs with LED alternatives. LED bulbs will keep your home bright and vibrant during the cold winter months. In addition to helping you save money and energy at home, they will also last longer so you need to buy them less. This means that factories don’t need to work overtime to make more of them. Manufacturing plants burn a lot of fossil fuels, so this is a great help.
If your kitchen and laundry appliances have seen better days, then this might be a good chance to upgrade to the newest models. An energy-efficient kitchen appliance, like a dishwasher, will require less electricity and will use less water, so you are eliminating waste on multiple fronts. When you purchase an appliance, look for the Energy Star label, which proves that it is the real deal. Yes, brand-new appliances will cost you more upfront, but when they reduce wasted energy, your utility bill will be lower over time.
When the winter months come along, many of us tend to go a little overboard with the heat because we want our home to be warm and cozy. The issue is that we also tend to keep the temperature the same even when everyone is out of the house at work and school. That is wasted energy.
The solution is to install a smart thermostat. This is a great invention because it allows you to program it so that you can have a certain temperature at one part of the day and a different temp later on. That way, you aren’t heating an empty house, and you can avoid that waste and an unnecessarily high energy bill.
Eco-friendly Tips for Eliminating Pests
When the temperatures drop, it is only natural for us to want to hunker down in our homes and ride out the storm. But, we aren’t the only ones with this instinct. Pests and insects also dislike the cold weather, and they would like to get in your home as well. It is important to put the proper protocols in place, and the good news is that you can manage and eliminate pests in an eco-friendly way.
For instance, you can look online for sustainable pest sprays and traps that can eliminate the threat without polluting the air. Just be cautious not to fall for greenwashing, which is when a company claims that they have eco-friendly products but it is really false advertising because they don’t have any science to back it up. Make sure that you do your research before making a purchase so you can ensure that you are buying the right product.
Even if you use a high-quality pest spray, insects and rodents can still get inside through holes in the perimeter of your home. The most common problem areas are cavities in your walls and around your windows and doors. If they are not properly sealed and tight to the perimeter, then pests can get in and you will likely have higher utility bills because your heater will be working overtime to warm your house while also replacing the air that leaks outside.
To properly seal your windows and doors, remove all of the old and faulty caulk and clear any chipped paint. Then, apply a fresh bead of caulk around every window to eliminate the issue. Sometimes, a gap under the door can lead to leakage, but that can also be easily fixed by installing a door sweep or a piece of weatherstripping so that the door closes securely.
Prepare for Time Spent Inside
Since you know that you will be spending a lot of time indoors over the next few months, it is a good idea to plan how you will do so sustainably while wasting as few resources as possible. For instance, you probably plan to catch up on your streaming and TV watching under your favorite blanket. Just remember that you will want to turn the television off when you leave the room. If you know that you tend to fall asleep in front of the TV, then set it on a timer.
Many people like to keep their core temperature up by taking hot showers throughout the winter season, but that can lead to wasted water and higher monthly bills. If you value your time in the shower, then at least switch out your existing showerheads with low-flow alternatives that will keep you just as warm and clean but by using half of the water.
If you really want to make a big difference, then think about the idea of installing solar panels on your roof. These panels work off the power of the sun, and they can heat and provide energy to your entire home, and even if it is cloudy or overcast outside, the panels will still work. Yes, solar panel installation can be costly at the start, but these installations will pay for themselves over time. Plus, if you create the right plan, you could end up owning the panels down the line. Although you may always need to be on the grid and pay a minimal electric bill, most of your energy will be free.
There you have it. There are many tactics that you can use to prepare your house for winter and help the planet all at once. Start enacting these tips today, and you will be ready for the colder months ahead while making your home sustainable.