It is fall in Minnesota which means it is time to start winterizing the yard, the gardens, the pool and the house.    I live in a house built in the 1960’s that is not as energy efficient as new homes.  I try to save money and energy by sealing up the house.

One project that can save money by making your house more air tight is caulking around windows and doors. This summer I painted the house and caulked every crack and crevice in the exterior around windows, doors, siding, pipes, boxes on my house.  I went through 16 tubes of exterior caulk using a basic handheld caulk gun and I became pretty good at laying a good bead by the end of the project.  As I was working around the house I noticed that the old caulk had shrunk, cracked and become brittle in all areas, there were even some areas under replaced windows that never had caulk applied and were letting cold air right into my house.    Caulk is cheap repair to keep out bugs, water and $3 a tube is a cheap energy saving option, in comparison to heating and cooling costs.

We use a Touch Screen 7 Day Programmable Thermostat to turn the heat down a few degrees at night, since I am home during the day with the kids I can’t lower heat during the day.  Since we replaced the old fashioned dial thermostat with the programmable one the furnace runs less often and maintains a more consistent temperature.

Our windows were all replaced in the early 90’s so they are still not as energy efficient as modern windows, so I use 3M (Plastic) Insulator Kits on the interior of the windows. I apply the plastic over each of the bedroom windows, and over the large picture windows in my house to keep the cold out and keep more of the warm in.  If you have never put plastic on your windows before it is a fast project and it is very rewarding.  I usually do it on a cool day when you can feel the cold air leaking from the windows.   When I am done you can feel the increase in warmth in the room and can no longer feel any draft by the windows.

I use applying plastic as my reason to wash the interior of the windows.  Make sure you get the little finger prints off  before applying the plastic because once the plastic is on the windows those smears and smudges are sealed in till spring.    Make sure you fully close, lock and close the storm windows before putting on the plastic.  If you have mini blinds on the windows, cut a little hole and seal the mini blind wand outside of the window and seal it up with clear scotch tape so you can open and close blinds on sunny days.  I also close curtains and insulating window blinds to keep even more drafts out of the room especially at night and on really cold days.

Minnesota gets cold so little energy saving steps will  help save you money and keep you warmer this winter.