Winterize your home with these quick and inexpensive fixes

Get ready, Canada. Winter is here once again.

Did you know that when you winterize your home, you help to increase its energy efficiency?
Here are some simple and inexpensive things you can do around the house to achieve real savings.

Seal drafts

Look for areas where drafts and air may be entering your home. The most common areas for air leaks are around windows and doors. Doors leading outside in older homes often have old keyholes that are no longer functional. These can be sealed up easily. If you can see daylight, you're letting the cold in and the heat out.

Stop cold air from entering your home. Use caulking on the exterior. Add weatherstripping to doors.

Window film is a simple and inexpensive way to stop drafty windows. A kit containing clear plastic and double-sided tape can be purchased from most hardware stores. The plastic goes over the window and shrinks tight with the help of a blowdryer.

A door snake is a length of fabric that rests at the bottom of a door or window. It helps to block the drafty air from entering the room. If you'd rather not buy a door snake, you can always improvise: get an old towel or blanket, and simply roll it up and place it to fit.

You can also stop drafts before they get in your house. Have a look at your windows from the outside. Replace old and weathered caulking between the windows and trim for a better seal.

Insulate electrical outlets

You may be losing heat through the electrical outlets located on the outside walls of your home. A simple way to reduce heat loss is by removing the cover and adding a thin foam insulating the covers underneath the electrical outlet wall plates. If the outlet is not in regular use, try adding plastic child-proof plug protectors for additional energy savings.

Insulate hot water pipes

A foam wrap is available that easily slips onto the water pipes. This can help to reduce heat loss and help save energy.

When you winterize your home, you not only help keep the cold out, you also help to keep the warm air in your house.

Other important tips for winter

Keep your sidewalks, walkways, and entrances clear from snow and ice. Keep entrances safe for family, friends, and visitors. Check eavestroughs above entrances for blockages that can result in icicles.

We typically spend a lot more time indoors in the winter months. Many people burn candles for ambiance and use supplemental heaters or fireplaces. It is important to test all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are in good working order. There should be at least one smoke detector on every floor of your home, including the basement.

The AIM team wishes you and your family a safe, warm, and energy-efficient winter!

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