How To Winterize for Immediate Savings and Year-Round Efficiency
Fall is the ideal time to tackle home improvements, and the last chance to get your home ready for winter weather.
"Thanks to new technologies, a few projects can significantly improve home safety, efficiency and convenience," says Tom Kraeutler, home improvement expert and syndicated radio show host of The Money Pit.
Kraeutler and co-host Leslie Segrete recommend the following for winterizing and protecting any home.
Improve attic insulation
"Up to 70 percent of home energy is used for heating and cooling, so trim costs by heading up to your attic and installing Owens Corning AttiCat Expanding Blown-In Insulation," says Segrete. "Using the bagged insulation and blowing machine, you can reach into tight spots and insulate an entire attic in less than four hours." AttiCat won't settle, maintains its R-value, provides sound control, and produces less dust.
Illuminate for security
"Now that days are getting shorter, nighttime security lighting is a must," says Kraeutler. "The Heath Zenith Secure Home 240-Degree LED Motion-Activated Security Light gives you peace of mind and intruders nowhere to hide." Advanced Dual Zone technology provides blind-spot-free coverage, and the Dual Brite system offers energy-efficient illumination without annoying on-and-off.
Smarter garage access
"Ever been far from home and wondered if you left the garage door open? You don't have to worry with Chamberlain MyQ Garage," says Segrete. "It installs with your existing garage door opener, and the MyQ Home Control App allows you to connect and control via smartphone." MyQ Garage works with most garage doors manufactured after 1993, and its WiFi hub connects to your home's wireless router.
Generate standby power
"Power outages are inevitable in the season ahead, and a Kohler Automatic Standby Home Generator can protect your home and keep systems going in an emergency," says Kraeutler. "Unlike portable units, it's permanently installed and connects directly to your home's electrical system, starting automatically whenever there's an outage." The Kohler Automatic Standby Home Generator gets systems and appliances up and running in 10 seconds or less, and can be monitored remotely from a laptop.
Wireless network support
"Even with wireless internet access and all your data in the cloud, a power glitch can be a major inconvenience," says Segrete. "But if you add the APC Back-UPS Pro 500 to your home network, you'll stay connected through any outage." The Back-UPS Pro 500 monitors network connection and automatically cycles power to its Smart Outlets to reboot frozen devices. It's placed wherever gateway equipment is located, and may be controlled from a web-enabled wireless device.