Winter is here… and that means colder days, longer nights, and the potential for high heating and electric bills, burst pipes, and other winter expenses that can leave your wallet feeling far too empty. But before you start to fret, know that winter doesn’t have to break the bank!
Heat Your Home… Efficiently
Don’t just crank up the heat and resign yourself to an astronomical energy bill! Use these tips to significantly increase your home’s insulation and efficiency, and decrease your bill.
1. Flush Your Water Heater
Make your water heater more efficient by flushing water through the drain valve to clear out particles and sediment that can collect over time.
2. Replace Filters
Replace the filters in your central air and heating systems to improve their efficiency.
3. Plug Up Holes and Openings
Keep heat from escaping under and around doors and windows. Use draft guards and weatherstripping to plug up openings and keep the heat in and the cold out. Additionally, if you don’t regularly use your chimney, a chimney balloon can plug up a huge drain of heat.
4.Window Insulation Film
Simply adding film to windows can keep up to 70% of your heat from escaping through the glass.
Burst pipes don’t have to be an annual wintertime hassle. Keep your pipes warm and healthy with these tips, and you can avoid the headache all together.
1. Clean Your Gutters
Make sure water can flow freely to prevent icicles and ice dams.
2. Insulate Your Pipes
Ensure that no cold air blows on your pipes by blocking all openings and crawl space vents.
3. Circulate Bathrooms
Keep your bathroom door open and consider putting in a fan to allow heat to circulate. If you’re expecting a particularly heavy freeze, you might consider adding a space heater to further safeguard your pipes.
4. Prep Your Outdoor Water Pipes
Disconnect garden hoses, and turn off and drain your sprinkler system.
5. Be Prepared
Know where your main waterline shut off is in the event that a problem does arise.
Keep You Wallet Happy — Year Round
While winter might be an especially pressing time to consider your budget, evaluating your spending habit and implementing some healthy budgeting habits can be a great money-saver year round. Use these simple tips to keep your wallet happy around the calendar, and save money for the things that really matter — like home investments.
1. Plan Your Meals
Reduce the number of lunches and dinners you eat out last minute because you have nothing else. Plan your meals for the week and never be unprepared.
2. Shop Smart
Make a list of everything you need for the week, and make one trip. Don’t allow for spontaneous shopping or return trips for forgotten or unnecessary items.
3. Swap a Vacation for a Staycation
Take a few days off from work to explore new activities, events, and attractions in your home town. This can be a great way to get to know your community better.
This practice can also be used for daily entertainment. Break out some old board games, or make up new games for exploring your town, such as rating local parks. And don’t forget to check out your local library, where you can find movies, books, music, and audio books at no cost.
Invest in Erie Real Estate
With all your budget-saving tips, you’ll have plenty of savings to invest in a new Erie home! As Erie locals and market experts, we want to be your go-to resource for all your home-buying and home-selling needs. Browse available homes for sale, or check out our home-buying resources. Contact us directly to get started today!