5 Easy Home Maintenance Projects for Winter

The first snowflakes of winter are a magical sight for some and a chilling one for others. Many of us welcome this time to hibernate through the blizzardy days, but it’s important to stay active in the winter months. If you find yourself feeling cooped up with a case of cabin fever, now is a great time to begin planning some winter home improvement projects to keep you moving! For those fortunate to live in warmer climates, think of these easy winter home maintenance projects as a productive distraction from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

Winter Home Maintenance Projects to Lower Energy Costs

Switch to Energy-Efficient Lightbulbs and Fixtures

When winter hits, darker days and longer nights call for light fixtures, televisions and other electrical appliances to be used more frequently. Balance out your energy usage and reduce your monthly electric bill by investing in energy-smart light fixtures and lightbulbs.

Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light emitting diodes (LEDs) may cost a bit more than traditional halogen incandescent bulbs, but your return on investment is significant. According to energy.gov, an Energy Star-qualified CFL lasts 10 times longer and an LED lasts up to 25 times longer than conventional incandescent bulbs.

AntonFomkin_flickr

Image: Anton Fomkin – CC by 2.0

Not only will updated lighting save you money on energy costs in the long run, but these simple winter home maintenance projects may even help to lift your spirits and improve your mood, as many of us experience seasonal affective disorder during the winter months.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

Customizing a home heating schedule can save money on energy costs. When away from home or during the night, a programmable thermostat helps to prevent excessive heating and energy use.

Our world runs on tesafewiselogochnology and as such, it’s only fitting that homeowners start updating their homes with smart features. Home automation allows people to remotely control household features, like lights, thermostats, security systems and sprinklers, from their smartphone or tablet.

Smart lighting is a great update to include in your remodel. You can use your smartphone to switch your lights on and off, change the brightness or hue and save money on your next utility bill.

Sage Singleton | Safewise

If you’re ready to make the jump to a programmable thermostat, here are some smart buying tips to follow from Fixr.

When purchasing a programmable thermostat it is important to know the different features that it offers. There are different programmable thermostats that vary greatly depending on the brand and features. Some thermostats can often break the home into different zones to automatically change the heat at different levels throughout the house others allow users to program the settings every day for a week, while others apply the same settings to every day, regardless of the day of the week. Make sure you know how a programmable thermostat works before you buy it. Here are the five most common thermostat brands:

Yuka Kato | Fixr.com

Insulate Your Home to Save on Energy Bills

Proper insulation in attics, crawl spaces and basements is the key to reducing heating bills. In older homes, many of us, almost literally, throw money out the window due to the amount of heat we let escape through cracks and crevices.

Seal up older windows by caulking cracks or holes where there is a noticeable draft. Window insulator kits can be purchased at your local home improvement store to help save on energy costs. To manage drafts from doors, weather strips are an easy fix.

RomanaKlee_flickr

Keep your cat’s favorite look-out spot warm. Image: Romana Klee – CC by 2.0

Declutter Your Basement or Closet

While we long for the summer days of outdoor activities, we might as well take time to focus on the inside. I like to look at decluttering your home as “pulling the weeds,” but indoors.

Your basement, attic or overflowing closet are perfect places to start, but not all at once. Dedicate yourself to one space at a time and conquer it before moving on. Free yourself of unwanted or unneeded items and organize the rest with shelving or storage bins.

OrganizedCloset_EmilyMay_flickr

Image: Organized Closet, Emily May – CC by 2.0

Our Ridiculously Thorough Guide to Decluttering Your Home provides expert tips to help lighten your load. Plus, you never know what you might find to sell for some extra cash! For clutter situations that go beyond hosting a garage sale, we suggest renting a dumpster to dispose of extraneous items.

Update Textiles and Fabrics

Accenting your sofa with a soft throw blanket and plush pillows is an easy fix that can go a long way. Let the creative juices flow and extend your color scheme to the window treatments. Curtains or shades not only add a cozy quality to a room, but also help to block cold drafts from windows.

IMG_7243

Add a cozy blanket to warm up your space. – CC by 2.0

If you’re seeking a more involved winter home improvement project, installing new carpet in bedrooms or family rooms will keep your hands busy and your feet warm. For those who prefer hardwood or tile floors, decorating with warm-patterned accent or area rugs will add much-needed comfort to your space for the winter months.

These 5 home maintenance projects will have you and your home prepared for even the coldest days of winter. If you have any other winter projects on your to-do list, let us know in the comments below. Stay warm!