- Paint Interiors
Giving interior rooms, paneling, or cabinetry a fresh coat of paint is an inexpensive winter update many homeowners take advantage of. If you are planning on moving the following spring or summer, taking the time to make your home more appealing to potential buyers by giving it a fresh coat is a great way to stand out in the market.
With less moisture and humidity in the air during winter, your fresh coat of paint will bond with surfaces better and dry faster. There’s also no need to open any windows to help paint dry and ventilate during the cold months; with low-VOC paints, using a fan to ventilate the room works just as well. Your freshly-painted room doesn’t need outdoor air, just circulation. Winter is a great time to paint!
2. Seal Openings & Air Leaks
Think of your home as an envelope. The outer walls, windows, doors, vents, and other exterior home systems protect you from the outside world, but if your home/envelope is compromised, it can become a problem. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency explains that air seeps in and out of your home constantly, so sealing leaks and adding insulation can save homeowners an average of 15% on heating and cooling costs, and an average of 11% on total energy costs.
Sealing your home’s openings and air leaks will save on energy bills, keeps more cash in your pocket, and will appear to eco-friendly buyers. Millennials, those born between 1980 and 1998, now comprise roughly 38% of home buyers, and their preference for green home features has impacted the real estate industry. Stay ahead of the curve, and better appeal to home buyers.
3. Insulate Attic, Ducts & Foundation
The U.S. Department of Energy recommends air sealing any areas of your home that need it before tackling insulation, so be sure to check our previous tip before starting this home improvement project.
When looking for the best insulation for your home, the best rule to follow is that the higher the “R-Value”, or thermal resistance, the more effective the insulation will be. Check out this diagram for examples of where to best insulate your home from attics, ducts, to foundations:
4. Maintain Heating System
Tending to the care and functionality of your heating system during the winter is a must for all homeowners. Inspect the water levels of your boiler to make sure they don’t fall too low and make sure to check and change the heating system filters.
Most HVAC and furnace filters need to be changed at least every 3 months, according to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors. If you’re home matches one of the items listed below, then you might need to change your filters more:
- Pets live in your home
- Someone in your household has allergies or a respiratory condition
- Cigarette smoke is often in your home
- You live in a windy area
- You use a fireplace
- You have a large family (meaning more household dirt and dust)
- You run your HVAC six months a year to year-round
5. Prepare Your Lawn For Spring
You spend all summer tending to your lawn to keep it luscious and green, but now it’s time to protect your lawn so it will once again become luscious and green in the spring. Mow your grass every 10 to 14 days until all of the leaves have fallen. This will ensure that the leaves don’t smother your lawn, and will keep the grass a healthy length to prepare for freezing temperatures and snow. Mow again before the first snowfall or freeze.
When it snows, leave it on your grass and garden beds. Some homeowners will plow patches of grass around their driveways and sidewalks, and that can be a big mistake. Snow protects your grass and other plants, acting as insulation against the cold winter air and harsh winds. If you accidentally plow portions of your lawn, those spots might not grow as well in the spring, which can make your grass look uneven and patchy.
Extra Tip: Remove Dying Trees & Stumps
If you have a dying or dead tree on your property, you could save money by removing it during the winter, particularly in February and March. That’s because tree companies become busy in the late spring and summer when winds and stormy weather necessitate emergency tree removal. This is a great way to stay ahead of the busy season and get your tree safely removed before the weather turns it into a dangerous problem.
The colder ground also makes tree removal advantageous during the winter. Frozen ground can keep nearby vegetation in place, making the removal less disruptive to the surroundings (though you may need to wait until the ground thaws to complete the stump removal).