The feeling of fall is unlike any other. The weather gets cooler and fresher by the day as we swap our summer attire for our more comfortable and cozier wardrobe. Our meals often change, usually to more hearty things like stews and roasts, and we start to crank up the heat in our homes. Now, at Windows on Washington, we often have clients come to us saying things like: “I want to keep warm at home during fall and winter, but I do not want my utility bills to keep climbing!” We hear you. It is a frustrating balance of comfort and cost. However, we have some good news for you. If you want to keep comfortable this fall and winter while also reducing energy costs, this is the article for you. Here, we will be dishing out our nine best home improvement ideas to improve comfort and reduce utility bills this fall, and year-round.
1. Install Insulation
Did you know that heating and cooling contributes to about 50 to 70 percent of the average home’s yearly energy usage? With a properly insulated home, you will not only have a more comfortable living space but also peace of mind knowing you have reduced your energy bills, too. There are four standard types of insulation used in US homes, and the right type of insulation will depend on your home and needs
- Blanket insulation - filled with mineral fibers including rockwool and fiberglass, comes in rolled-up form.
- Polyurethane and polyisocyanurate foam insulation - sprayed into the crevices and cavities of a home by a professional installer.
- Loose fill insulation - consisting of cellulose, rockwool and/or fiberglass, contained in pellets or fibers and installed with pneumatic tools.
- Rigid insulation - typically packaged in boards or pipe fittings and is typically used to insulate wall sheaths and foundations.
2. Declutter & Organize Your Home
Fall is the time of year when we start to spend more time inside and having a decluttered and organized home makes it a much more enjoyable place to be. Not to mention if you have family and friends visiting for the holidays you will want your home to be presentable and a comfortable place for your guests to be. So, before the holiday season is upon us you should use this fall period to declutter and organize your home – we can guarantee you will feel better for it.
3. Finish Those DIY’s
How many DIY projects have you started and not yet finished? Don’t worry – it happens to the best of us. The good news is fall weather is the perfect time to finish any DIY projects you want to have completed by the end of the year and before the cold winter weather arrives. And, if you find that the DIY project was probably best left to a professional, you can start making the necessary arrangements to find a good contractor to finish the job.
4. Check Your Siding
Fall is the ideal time to check your siding for any cracks or chips because the colder weather will only amplify any existing problems. If you begin repairing your siding during fall, it will help keep your home warmer during winter, prevent any major damage occurring and also reduce your energy bills. Head here to uncover some tell-tale signs your siding needs to be replaced as soon as possible.
5. Paint The Exterior of Your Home
There is nothing quite like sprucing up your home with a fresh coat of paint – it sometimes can truly make the world of difference. Not only will it make your home look brand new and fresh, but it can also help increase the lifespan of your siding and trim too, especially on surfaces where snow may fall during winter. It truly is a fuss-free, cost-effective home improvement job!
6. Inspect Your Roof
Inspecting your roof periodically throughout the year is important, but it is even more important to inspect it before winter arrives. This is because the cold can aggravate any roof leaks and in turn, drive up your heating bills (not to mention potentially cause very costly structural damage). If you feel comfortable this can certainly be a DIY job, but for safety, it might be best to hire a professional who may also be able to spot problems with your roof that you cannot see.
7. Clear Out Your Gutters
While you are up on the roof, it is a good time to clear out your gutters as well. As the leaves begin to fall, it is important to keep your gutters clean and clear. When gutters get blocked, the flow of water is interrupted and can lead to a water-damaged roof; something you most certainly want to avoid as we head into the colder months. You can also hire professionals to do this if you do not feel comfortable getting up on a ladder.
8. Clean Your Carpets
A simple yet very effective fall job – a carpet clean! It is a good idea to clean your carpets during the fall because the weather is still warm enough to open windows. They will also dry faster with the added ventilation. It is also a good time to get your carpets holiday-ready for all impending house guests, friends and family you will no doubt be having over for the holidays.
9. Give Your Fireplace a Clean
Before you begin using your fireplace again, it is a good idea to give it a good clean to ensure it is safe to use…and of course, ready for Santa! How to best clean your fireplace will depend on the type of fireplace you have, so be sure to check the user manual or a quick Google will do the trick.
We hope this has given you some great ideas on how to improve your home this fall. As always, if you need some professional advice, we are more than happy to help. Get in touch with our expert team today.