We often think of spring and summer as the seasons for making home improvements — think “spring cleaning” or “summer sprucing.”
However, winter can be the perfect time for some maintenance projects. You can improve your home’s energy efficiency, ensure your heating system is safe, and even brighten your interior during the dark winter months.
GOBankingRates took a look at various projects you can do now for less.
Clean Your Chimney
- Estimated cost: $129-$377, per HomeAdvisor
If you haven’t had a fire in your fireplace yet, you’ll want to get your chimney inspected and cleaned. Over time, creosote (a dark brown oil) can build up in your chimney, reducing airflow. Your chimney also could be home for birds or critters, and they could block smoke from escaping.
This is definitely not a job you want to try yourself either. It’s well worth paying the expert.
Replace Old Weatherstripping
- Estimated cost: $129-$428, according to HomeAdvisor
Feeling a draft when it’s cold outside? You might have old, cracked weatherstripping. Replacing your weatherstripping can improve your home’s energy efficiency by preventing heat from leaking out.
This is a relatively easy job you can do yourself, and you’ll recoup the cost fairly quickly with lower energy bills.
Replace Your Furnace Filters
- Estimated cost: $10-$30 per filter, according to HomeAdivsor
This seems like a minor maintenance item, but clean filters are better for your furnace, preventing dust and dirt from getting into the machinery, and for your indoor air. Because you’re probably spending more time indoors during the winter months, make sure to replace your HVAC filters.
Insulate Your Attic
- Estimated cost: $1-$4 per square foot, according to HomeGuide
If your attic isn’t properly insulated, you’re guaranteed to be losing heat and paying higher energy bills. A completely new installation of insulation for a 1,500-square-foot home will be over budget, but if you’re just replenishing what’s in your attic, you can do this for under $1,000.
Switch To LED Light Bulbs
- Estimated cost: $3-10 per bulb, according to howmuchisit.org
Winter is a good time to brighten your home, and new light bulbs can help. Choosing LED lights can save up to 75% on energy bills, according to the Department of Energy. LED light bulbs also last 25 times longer, so you’re definitely making a smart investment.
LED lighting may seem like a costly investment initially, greenamerica.org reports, but it offers significant long-term benefits by reducing energy consumption and associated costs.
Insulate and Winterize Your Pipes
- Estimated cost: $65-$1000 (according to HomeAdvisor)
This is an essential task if you live in a colder climate. Make sure to turn off your water to external spigots, covering the faucets with a Styrofoam cover. Also, wrap any exposed pipes with insulated fabric.
Replace Batteries in Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
- Estimated cost: $10-$40 for a pack of 9-volt batteries at Home Depot
Technically, you’re supposed to do this each time you change your clocks to or from daylight savings. But we’re guessing you didn’t remember then, so do it right now!
Paint a Room … or Two
- Estimated cost: $75-$100 for top-of-the-line Sherwin Williams Emerald brand paint, according to Pro Paint Corner
You might be surprised to think of painting during the winter, but manufacturers offer the best deals on paints during this time, the Washington Post reports. There’s also typically less humidity and moisture in the air, so paint will adhere to surfaces better
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