Features That Make a Home Cozy
Winterizing your home is one of the best ways to get comfortable and save energy costs. It’s not too late to get a few projects done before the holidays, so here’s a short weekend list of to-dos to help you.
Check the furnace. Typically, a heating system has a heat/cooling source, distribution system, and thermostat, so there is plenty of room for error. Make sure that your system is properly inspected and cleaned and has fresh filters according to maintenance directions. Call a master certified plumber to look for potential dangers such as carbon monoxide leaks.
Check detectors. Since you’ll be indoors more, it makes sense to also check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. According to EPA.gov, smoke detectors with a UL rating have a useful life of 10 years so don’t just push the button to see if it’s working. Stick a real flame source, such as a candle or a match, to see if the detector can actually pick up on the smoke being emitted.
Check insulation. Energy leaks put a hole in your wallet, so do your best to identify and seal all leaks in your ceiling/attic and cracks in or around your windows and doors. A quick way to check if you have enough insulation is to go into your attic and look at your rafters-if you can see ceiling joists you can add some more insulation. Though this will be an expensive process, your heating costs will drop right away.
Outdoor Lighting for Safety and Beauty
Landscape lighting is one of the best ways to make your home safer and more appealing. You can highlight your home’s best features and light the way to your entry for guests, all while eliminating dark hiding spots for unwelcome visitors.
- Step back from your home so you can see the whole house and yard in daylight and at night.
- Do you have elegant brickwork, bay windows or a verandah to showcase?
- Are there fountains, pools or other features you’d like to show at night?
- Is your home beautifully landscaped? Are there trees or plantings you’d like to shower with attention?
- How well-lit are your doors, pathways, steps and parking from the street?
One benefit of pathway lighting is that it can radiate several feet. You can install solar-powered walkway lamps that are attractive and affordable.
Spot lights can be put low on the ground or high on a wall, or they can hang from the eaves of your home to focus on specific features. Each light provides unique shadows and can bring architectural and landscaping features center stage.
On the ground, install flood lights that shoot light up against your home, bushes or trees. Motion detectors can flood the area with light which discourages pests.
Outdoor lighting can make your home more attractive at night, but it can also make your home more attractive to future homebuyers, as a beauty and safety feature. And that’s always a good investment.