The colder months may seem like the time to hibernate through home repairs. However, consider using this time inside, to upgrade your home's interior. From safety precautions to energy savings, there are plenty of benefits to making simple changes to your home. Here are some quick and easy upgrades you can make this winter:
- Combine Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors in One Unit
Smoke and carbon monoxide monitoring becomes especially important during the winter. More and more people use their fireplaces and furnaces frequently during the winter, burning much more fuel than in earlier months. Place smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on each floor of your home if you have multiple stories. You can upgrade your monitors by getting a combination unit that contains both types of sensors for around $40. Make sure to check the batteries for your unit(s) twice a year.
- Invest in Fiberglass Air Filters
Ideally, you should change out your air filters in your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit every 30 days. During the winter, you should check them more frequently â€“ about every two weeks. For an easy upgrade, purchase fiberglass filters, which work more efficiently and are easier to replace and maintain. Clean air filters are an essential component of home maintenance, since they drastically affect your air quality.
- Replace Your Refrigerator Door Seals
Keeping your refrigerator door seals tight will reduce energy usage, while also keeping your refrigerator working efficiently. Properly-sealed doors can also help extend your refrigerator's lifespan. To test your seals, close your refrigerator door on a small piece of paper. If you can easily slide the paper out with the door closed, you should replace your door seals. You can purchase new seals at any home goods store, and easily replace them yourself.
- Fix Up the Fireplace and Add New Features
Get your fireplace and chimney professionally inspected before use. Hazardous material build-up in chimneys is common, and can pose a threat to fire safety and general health safety. A quick upgrade for your fireplace can be retrofitting your fireplace doors. Open fireboxes are very inefficient and suck warm air up into the flue. Adding glass doors to your fireplace doesn't detract from its design, while also making it much more effective at radiating heat. Doors are also a good safety feature, especially if you have children or pets.
- Re-Caulk Drafty Windows
Drafty windows are typically the culprit behind high winter energy bills. One of the best things you can do for your home is making sure your windows are properly sealed. Periodically check the condition of your caulk line, so you can determine if your windows are allowing cold air inside your home. If the caulk appears to be dry, cracked or weathered, remove it with a box cutter or sharp knife. Then, replace it with a new bead of caulk along the seam. Repairing your caulk line will make your home naturally retain heat, saving you significant utilities expenses.
Making quick, simple upgrades to your home this winter can help you stay up on maintenance while increasing your home's value. While it might be tempting to take the season off, it's a great time to make some changes to your home and stay energy-efficient this winter.
Interested in learning more about how you can quickly upgrade your home features? Find a trusted, friendly home inspector near you at WIN Home Inspection.