Everyone knows that home energy bills always become higher during the wintertime. Fortunately, there are a few simple tricks to keep costs down. Here are five top energy conservation tips that you can implement this winter. (And you know what the great thing about these ideas are? You can “reverse” some of them and use to stay cool in the summer!)
Stop fireplace heat loss
This may come as a big surprise, but your fireplace could actually be the place you’re losing the most heat from. Wood-burning fireplaces, for example, can end up letting a lot of heat escape through the chimney. Make sure this doesn’t happen by installing airtight doors and inflatable draft stoppers. Another way to stop air escaping is with a flue sealer, which can be easy put in place by anyone.
Add attic insulation
Insulating your attic is one of the best ways to keep energy costs down. You can tell when a house is poorly insulated because it quickly becomes a very unpleasant place to live. It will save you a ton of money in the long run, and even more if you can do the insulating yourself. The recommended minimum level of insulation for attics is R-38, which equals about 12 inches. According to Habito, improving insulation also makes a huge difference to your property valuation and ease of sale.
We live in Central Florida, where, most times, you can still swim in the pool in the middle of “winter”. But I know not all of the lovely readers here on this blog can enjoy that kind of weather year round! So let’s talk about taking care of pools for those who actually get to enjoy “a white Christmas”.
With a great pool comes great responsibility, and true heroes shine when summer’s end approaches and it’s time to make preparations for upcoming cold months of winter. Once the pool builder has completed their job and given you a fantastic recreation space, you start to see that being a responsible owner includes constant care throughout the whole year, and especially during winter when temperatures can be harmful if the pool is not attended to properly.
Don’t worry, the experts at SoCal have been very helpful and shared some advice on how to best preserve your custom pool when warm days are over!
Get your systems ready
The time has come to end the swimming season and close the pool off, but before you do that you need to make sure that all the systems inside are completely ready. Water from heater, filter and pipes needs to be drained and the water level should be maintained to around 5 inches below the skimmer. The reason why you need to keep all the motorized parts dry is the danger of water freezing within and causing all sorts of problems. Don’t forget to keep the cover dry as well to avoid any freezing from above.
One of the things I love about our new house is an already-picket-fenced-in area the previous owner used as a garden! I haven’t planted anything in it yet, but I plan on getting some good use out of it come Spring. However, in order for it to be ready for me come Spring, there’s a bit of preparation that needs to be done, am I right?
Right now, with winter coming hot – or cold – on the heels of Fall, it’s the time of year we all enjoy getting cozy inside and snuggling up by the fire. For those with green fingers, it’s time to reflect on the summer’s bounties and think about preparing your garden for the coming chill. Preparation is the key to having an easy maintenance garden over winter, and helps it to burst back into life in next spring as well.
Pulling up and bedding down
Start with your plants, digging up any annuals and adding them to the compost heap. Make sure that any bulbs are settled in ready for spring, pull out weeds, and cut back your perennials. Digging over the beds helps to aerate the soil and mix it up, and spreading a thick layer of compost or bark chips on top helps to replenish the nutrients and organic content. If you want some winter color, try adding wallflowers and pansies or some heather and cyclamen, which do equally well in easy to manage pots and hanging baskets.
Okay, okay, calm down, calm down. I’m not “starting in on Christmas” already. Well, not really. But y’all know that here in Florida, it does NOT feel like Fall quite yet. Even though yesterday WAS the first day of Fall, the temperature on my back deck read 91 degrees, with a “feels-like” temperature of 95. I kid you not. Does that give you festive warm Fall fuzzies? Yeah, me neither.
But there ARE things I do this time of the year to try and help it FEEL more like Fall in Florida. Fall foods. Fall scents. Fall decor. You’ll actually get to see lots of that here on the blog over the next few weeks.
And all this “trying to make it feel like Fall” got me thinking. When it’s 70 degrees in Florida in December and we’re “trying to get it to feel like Christmas”, what on earth will we do then?!
If you live in a warm-weather state like California, Arizona, Hawaii or Florida, you may gaze wistfully at your friends’ winter time photos on social media of their snow-covered lawns and their rosy-faced kids making snowmen.
While you are eager to get into the holiday spirit, you find yourself wishing that the weather would magically cool off in Tucson or Tampa and that you could experience a true White Christmas.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways that you can create a festive and chilly Christmas season — at least one that looks that way.
Well, folks, normally I don’t post twice in the same day, but I wanted to share something with all of you!
Once again, the lovely online magazine courtesy of Monkey Bar Storage filled with tons of ideas for your home this Winter is here! I’m so please that they asked me to be included!
Do check it out and let me know what you think! Always a pleasure to work with the folks at Monkey Bar Storage – they have some fantastic ideas!
Hope you enjoyed the guide! Is YOUR home all ready for Winter?
Due to the amount of comments from all of my wonderful readers, it is not always possible for me to respond to each one. However, I absolutely do read them all, and if you’d like to address something specific, or have a question for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at Kristen@theroadtodomestication.com. I will respond to your email as soon as possible! Thank you for visiting the blog!