Everyone knows that the winter months in the southern states are nowhere near as rough as up north. But that doesn’t mean that you should ignore preparing your home for winter in Texas altogether. There are many tips, tricks, and techniques that will increase energy efficiency and save homeowners money in the winter season. PSP Company has spent over three decades improving homes in the Austin, Texas area. So we created this list of the Top 10 Tips for Winterizing Your Home in Texas. These are things homeowners or renters can do to reduce energy consumption, lengthen the life span of your heating system, stay warmer, and save money during the colder months.
This might seem like something you do anyways, but changing your furnace filter is very important to the health of your furnace. It’s always good practice to change your furnace monthly. So be sure to replace your filter when preparing for winter this year in Texas. Basically, the dirtier your filter is, the harder it has to work. If it’s constantly heating your home while pulling air through a restricted furnace filter, it’s putting more strain on your furnace. This uses more energy, costs you more money, and reduces the life span of your furnace.
You may have heard the old saying, “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is today.” Well that goes for winterizing your home as well. Trees, bushes, or shrubs are a great way to keep your home warmer during a Texas winter. Trees outside your home can greatly reduce wind flow. In the winter, this means less cold air pushing through any cracks in doors and windows.
It’s also true that living in Texas can bring some extreme heat in the summer. Trees on your property can be extremely beneficial with cooling your home as well. They create shade from the sun, while keeping more of the area around your home cooler. According to a detailed study, planting a tree can save you up to 10% in winter heating costs and up to 40% in the summer.
If you’re looking for an economical way to reduce your heating costs this winter, a few tubes of window sealant will help dramatically. Simple window caulk can be purchased at a number of places for just a few dollars. Application is also a very simple process that can be done by just about anyone. The Department of Energy has a very informative article detailing how to seal your windows with caulk. There are also a number of instructional videos on YouTube.
This is another Texas winterizing technique that will help in the hot summer months as well.
Covering your windows with plastic is another inexpensive option to help with winterizing. Also, like applying window sealant, this is a do-it-yourself project that can be done by anyone. Energystar.gov details the tools, supplies, costs, and instructions here.
Sealing the windows in your home with plastic works in a couple of different ways. Number one, it helps keep out drafts that bring in cold winter air. Secondly, it reduces condensation which leads to moisture buildup.
Many of these Texas winterizing tips are simple, inexpensive fixes that provide minimal benefit. The fact is, replacing the windows in your home is going to be one of the most effective ways to reduce energy costs. The windows homes are built with is generally much lower quality than most brands of replacement windows. Replacing cheap, ineffective windows with high quality products will pay for itself in many ways.
New windows in your home will not only reduce your heating costs this winter. They will provide energy savings and comfort for decades if done professionally. Along with energy savings, replacement windows improve the look of your home and greatly raise resale value. If you’re looking for a replacement window quote in the Austin area, contact PSP Company for a quote. We’ve been installing windows in the central Texas region for over 30 years. Check out our Google Reviews!
This is one of those situations where spending a little now can save you a ton later. Regular maintenance on your heating system is crucial to extending it’s life. Most professionals recommend getting your furnace inspected at least once a year, usually before winter.
A furnace inspection covers several areas. If you haven’t replaced your filters, they will be replaced. You’ll get a tune up to ensure your heater doesn’t fail in the middle of winter. Air quality will be examined to ensure there aren’t any issues with carbon monoxide. Also, air flow will be checked to ensure maximum performance and no obstructed vents.
Not all home winterizing in Texas is about keeping your home warmer. There are other places in and around your home that will need prepped for winter as well. Water pipe insulation can be a bit tricky, but it is something that is absolutely vital unless you want a burst pipe spewing freezing water this winter.
Insulating water pipes with foam insulation will prevent them from bursting when the temperature drops below freezing. The issue is that many pipes are very difficult to reach after the home has been built. Pipe insulation is a project that you will most likely not want to tackle alone and it’s best to contact a professional.
We all should remember learning about heat rising from science class. When you’re spending hundreds of dollars heating your home this winter, you want to keep that heat from rising out of your roof. It’s definitely worth taking a look at how efficient your attic insulation before you endure a cold winter, especially if your home is older.
There are many different types of attic insulation that vary in their efficiency, placement, and costs. It’s worth discussing this with a professional to ensure that you’re getting the best bang for your buck. Literally. It’s been estimated that a properly insulated attic can save 10-15% in costs each month.
Anyplace that air can come into your home in the winter can cause a huge loss in heating costs and comfort. This can be especially true with doors that lead to the outside of your home.
When preparing your home for winter this year, pay special attention to visible cracks around doors. Another way to test is to simply run your hand around the doors on a cool day. Some simple adhesive weatherstripping can be a quick fix that can be done in a very short time.
When getting a Texas home ready for winter, there are still many helpful solutions that have been around for generations. Great, great grandparents relied on heavy thermal curtains and drapes to help seal out the winter air. And that is still a viable solution today.
Any barriers that you can put between the cold winter air and the inside of your home is doing to be helpful to your heating bill. Plus it’s extremely cozy to close the heavy drapes, snuggle under a blanket, and enjoy the warmth when it’s freezing outside.