Old man winter is knocking on the door and now is the time to prepare your home for the cold weather. YNN's Crystal Cranmore shares some tips to avoid breaking the wallet.
NEW YORK STATE -- The winter months usually mean skyrocketing heating costs, but that doesn't have to be the case. The biggest problem consumers find themselves in?
“Probably starting too late,” said Lee Doud, the owner of Bulkhead Hardware in Elmira.
Experts say while it's still early, homeowners should be proactive to save on those energy bills.
“Weather stripping is common sense. You feel cold air coming in, you look for where it's leaking and plug the crack or that hole,” said Doud.
Seal recessed lights, the attic hatch and plumbing vents so warm air doesn't enter the attic. If you don't have double paned windows, install storm windows to make sure the heat stays in and the cold air stays outside. Homeowners should also remember to avoid frozen pipes.
“Freezing is actually the biggest culprit and the biggest causes of insurance losses. Water losses from frozen pipes is the main and most excessive loss,” said Dave Phillips, spokesperson for State Farm Insurance.
To prevent frozen pipes, experts recommend you open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to piping under sinks, run a small trickle of water from hot and cold faucets during extreme cold and add insulation which you can get at your local hardware store. Experts also recommend cleaning out the gutter.
“If they are stopped up in the winter time, as the snow melts off the roof, it can't empty out the downspout,” said Doud.
That buildup can form an ice dam, forcing water to accumulate and possibly leak into your home. So by taking some of these simple steps to heart, homeowners can avoid breaking the wallet this winter.
This is also a good time to review your insurance policy to see what is covered. In most cases, water that enters the home from outside is not covered under standard homeowners insurance.