7 Steps to Save Money and Protect Your Home this Winter

Every winter, your home serves as a warm, welcome refuge from South Dakota’s teeth-clattering temperatures and Atlas-sized snowstorms. Unfortunately, those eight or so months can seem like a lifetime, especially when you consider the unavoidable costs associated with winter living.
From the heating bill to a burst water pipe, South Dakota’s harsh winters can wreak havoc on your budget and peace of mind. But, with a little preparation, you can help increase your home’s energy efficiency and protect it from the elements, all while saving money. Our home loan experts have some great money-saving tips to help you get started:  
 

Weatherproof Your Home

Make sure your doors and windows are properly equipped to handle the cold by installing weather stripping and insulation around them. Be sure to fill in any gaps in doors and windows with caulk to keep warm air in.

Pro tip: Keep your curtains drawn to hold in even more heat.
 

Insulate Your Attic

As you likely learned in school, heat rises. Therefore, the best place to gain more energy efficiency in your home is overhead. Be sure your attic is properly insulated and sealed before turning on the heat.
 

Complete Outdoor Maintenance

Take a few laps around your home to look for any exterior cracks and holes that need to be filled. Additionally, be sure to turn off all water sources and remove any weak tree limbs that could cause major damage to your home.

Pro tip: Consider reviewing your home owner’s insurance policy with a BHFCU Insurance agent
 

Service Your Furnace and Water Heater

Save money on your utility bills this winter by having your furnace and water heater serviced. In particular, be sure to replace the filters in your furnace and flush your water tank to increase their energy efficiency. You should also consider adding insulation around your water heater to help reduce costs.
 

Prevent Frozen Pipes

Avoid a headache and be sure to cover any exposed or vulnerable pipes with pipe insulation, which can be purchased at any hardware store. We recommend always keeping your thermostat set to 55 degrees or higher, even when away, to prevent pipes from freezing up.
 

Consider a Smart Thermostat

Programmable thermostats are a great, energy-saving investment, especially if you struggle to remember to turn the temperature down at night or during the day.
 

Prepare for Storms

Make sure you’re equipped with the proper tools to handle a winter storm – a sturdy shovel, rock salt to de-ice your steps, driveway, and sidewalk, and plenty of warm clothes and waterproof boots. The last thing you need is to slip and hurt yourself on the way to the car.

While winter is unavoidable in South Dakota, your wallet and your home shouldn’t have to suffer because of the frigid temperatures. Make sure you’re prepared!
 

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