The holiday season is upon us and we all know what that means, a time for all the friends and families to come together and enjoy the Christmas and New Year festivities. This time of the year is filled with a lot of surprises and anticipation, but it can also get overwhelming if your house isn’t ready for the winters. With a few minor to major interior and exterior upgrades, you and your friends will definitely fall in love with your house. And the best part, with holiday sales around the corner, you can do a whole lot of home upgrades with fewer funds.
Here are the top 8 home upgrades to consider before the holiday season.
- Underfloor Heating (Especially the Bathroom)
It’s winter, no one wants to step barefoot onto a cold floor. You can imagine what it would feel in the bathroom. Underfloor heating is an excellent alternative to forced-air heating systems, as they release heat at the floor level. It might not be viable for the entire house, but you’d definitely want it in the bathroom. Additional benefits of underfloor heating are improved energy efficiency, thermal comfort, and indoor air quality as compared to forced-air heating systems.
2. Smart Thermostat
While you’re busy tending to your house guests, a smart thermostat will tend to your heating needs. We all want to cut down the energy bills year-round, and heating requirements are more demanding during winters. A smart thermostat will automatically adjust its setting based on the indoor space occupancy, which means you longer have to recall if you adjusted the thermostat. HVAC engineers recommend using a smart thermostat with the ENERGY STAR label.
3. Indoor Air Quality Monitor
During winters, the doors are closed and the windows are shut, which can be worrisome if the air inside your home is polluted. With poor ventilation and air filtration, harmful air pollutants can get accumulated and stay airborne for longer durations. Looking at the current emergency situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is extremely important that your home can provide healthy indoor air quality while ensuring harmful air pollutants, including COVID-19, are eliminated.
4. HVAC Upgrades
You’ve been meaning to upgrade your HVAC system but haven’t done it yet? Many design engineers believe that fall is probably the best time to upgrade your HVAC system. Fall is like the sweet spot since it’s not too hot or too cold, which should be the perfect time for you to prepare for the ‘winter is here’ days. Consulting with an HVAC professional is highly recommended as the upgrade will take care of your winter needs and ensure low operating costs with optimal performance.
5. Roof Repairs
If your roof has seen better days, it’s time to get up there and do some repairs or you might end up with water dripping on the dinner table. Also repairing the roof would mean higher insulation from the outside cold air, which in turn will help you reduce your energy bills. Roof repairs are often low on expenses and with some DIY research, you can probably do it yourself. With a perfectly healthy roof, you’d be prepared for the following seasons as well.
6. Weatherize your Home
Many people tend to replace windows and doors as part of energy efficiency measures. However, in most cases, this can be avoided by weatherstripping your doors and windows. Weatherizing your windows and doors will eliminate air drafts which can significantly reduce the energy bills and improve comfort. Also, it’s often a very easy DIY project and whatever your budget is, it’ll pay for itself in no time.
7. Plumbing Fixtures
When we talk about property damage during winters, bursting pipes is one of the most commonly occurring issues. We’ve all seen pipes clogged with frozen water, and this can cause the pipes to expand and break. If the water leaks into the foundations, it could cause some serious damage to your house. It is recommended to opt for pipe insulation or wrap heat tapes around the pipes to prevent them from freezing.
8. Get Rid of Single-Pane Windows
Single-pane windows provide little to no insulation from the outside temperature and often contribute heavily to your energy bills. In the US, 15% to 35% of heat loss is mainly due to poorly insulated windows. The easiest solution is to switch to double-pane windows, as they are 50% more efficient than single-pane windows.
By Vasim NYE