Guest Post by Kim Hibbs

Man with ice and winter mask on face

With much of the country experiencing a break from winter’s deep chill, you may think the worst of winter is behind us.

That’s probably not the case.

Long range forecasts indicate February could be as cold and snow as early January.  That means there’s still time to winter proof your home.

Here are some simple do-it-yourself (DIY) projects that can really make a difference.

  1. Locate air leaks using a lit incense stick around electrical outlets, recessed can lights, between floor joists, windows, doors and any penetration coming into the home.  Use caulk, foam, foam gaskets or plastic plugs to block the leaks.
  2. Adhere fiberglass batt insulation or foam board to your attic hatch.
  3. Add insulation to your attic.  R30 minimum, R38 recommended for the St. Louis area.
  4. Seal heating/cooling duct connections with mastic or metal backed tape.
  5. Change worn door sweeps on exterior doors.
  6. Add storm doors.
  7. Install Energy Star rated programmable thermostats.
  8. Wrap your water heater in an insulated blanket and water lines in foam insulation.
  9. Make sure your fireplace flue or dampers are tightly shut and install tempered glass doors.
  10. Operate ceiling fans in reverse direction to move warm air down from the ceiling.
  11. Install CFL bulbs in the most used light fixtures in your home.
  12. When buying new appliances, look for Energy Star label.

Building certified green homes in the St. Louis area, these practices have become second nature to our crews.

However, you don’t have to be a pro, anyone can tackle these DIY projects that can help you save money on your utility bills and improve the comfort of your home.

Kim Hibbs of Hibbs Homes builds custom green and energy star rated homes in the St. Louis area. He writes a blog, It’s The Custom, covering green tips, home building and St. Louis.