Cold Snap: Low-Cost, Last Minute Winter Tips!

8 Cheap Ways to Lower Your Winter Energy Bill

Oh, you thought winter was over?
Looks like Mother Nature has a thing or two to say about that. With nearly a third of the country under some serious winter conditions today, we wanted to serve up a few last, low-cost winter hacks to keep you warm and dry until spring.

Most of these tips don’t require a ton of money. And even the ones that do carry some up-front costs will save you cash in the long run.

When it’s a choice between a few bucks spent now and a few thousand spent dealing with a burst water pipe, there’s really no choice at all! With that in mind, we spoke with some of our favorite home experts to bring you the final word on winter preparedness.

Save those pipes!

If it’s ever happened to you, you know you never want it to happen again. Follow these simple steps from Mr. Rooter Plumbing (@mrrooterllc)to prevent your pipes from freezing or bursting:

  • Allow a small trickle of cold water to run from your faucet. This will keep water moving in your pipes, preventing freezing.
  • Open under-sink cabinet doors to keep warm room air circulating around pipes.
  • External openings such as basement doors, windows, and crawl spaces should be sealed with weather stripping, caulk, and sealant.
  • Take the time before the first freeze of the season to drain out the sprinkler system. Disconnect, drain and store all hoses and exterior water spigot.

Keep your home or apartment winterized with these toasty tips!

Heavy snowfall can damage your roof. But at least when it melts, it can… flood your basement. Sigh. Luckily, the folks at Rainbow International (@RainbowIntl) aren’t just experts at home restoration, they also know a thing or two about home damage prevention. They recommend…

  • Ensure your home and attic are properly insulated and repair any roof leaks now.
  • Fill in weak cracks in walls, floors, and foundations where water could sneak through from snow melting.
  • Clean out gutters of all debris and position downspouts away from your home’s foundation.
  • Cut away tree branches that hang over your house. Snow buildup on branches can be heavy and cause them to fall.

It’s important to stay warm, but it’s even more important to stay safe!

Heavy socks and a thick blanket are important. But in this weather, they won’t mean much if your home furnace isn’t functioning properly. Take some advice from the heating experts at Aire Serv (@AireServ).

  • Check all vents to make certain they remain clear to prevent inefficiencies caused by blockages.
  • Change the air filters at the beginning of every heating season, as well as every month the furnace is in full use.
  • Always check regularly for gas leaks. Noticing the smell of gas, finding connections that look frayed, worn out or damaged all mean it is time to call a professional for repair before you start up the furnace.

Keep the heat indoors!

What’s better than leaving your windows open in the spring? How about keeping them shut (and leak-proofed) in the winter? If your windows are cracked or letting the heat out, you’re paying more to heat your home or apartment less. Glass Doctor (@GlassDoctor1) recommends the following. And you know you can trust them. They’re doctors.

  • Weather stripping or caulking windows and doors is a cost effective way to seal air leaks in just a few hours with immediate savings.
  • If you have older windows, upgrading them with high-efficiency units, such as double pane windows, can save up to 15 percent of energy expenses.

In an interview with OppLoans, Citizens Utility Board (@cubillinois) spokesman Jim Chilsen also recommended buying window insulation kit for as little as $15 online or at a local hardware store. Just use the double-sided tape and plastic film to cover the inside of your windows.

(For additional tips from Mr. Chilsen on how to affordably winterize your home, check out our blog post: 9 Cheap Ways to Lower Your Winter Energy Bill.)

Check out these bonus tips!

Check out this Winter Storm Preparedness Guide from the American Red Cross (@RedCross).

If disaster does strike and your pipes do burst, (@Readygov) says that you should locate your water shut-off valve to minimize the damage.

Lastly, if you want to know more about emergency services in your area, check out this FEMA directory of state and territory-level Emergency Management Agencies. Stay safe out there!


Richard Ciresi, owner of the Aire Serv of Louisville, Kentucky (@ASLouisville).

Richard Ciresi is the owner of Aire Serv in Louisville, Kentucky. Aire Serv is a global franchise company providing installation, maintenance, and repair of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and indoor air quality systems. With over thirty years of experience in both commercial and residential heating and air conditioning, his technicians now serve the communities of Indianapolis, Southern Indiana, Louisville and Lexington. His company is known for exceptional customer service, employing the most innovative technology and the widest selection of product lines to provide custom solutions with outstanding results.

Glenn Gallas, Vice President of operations of Mr.Rooter Plumbing (@therightroad).

Glenn Gallas began his career at Mr. Rooter Plumbing beginning in Feb. 2000, as a franchisee in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Because of his success and achievements, he was offered the opportunity to become a Franchise Consultant before being promoted to Mr. Rooter Plumbing, Vice-President of Operations.

Larry Patterson, owner of the Glass Doctor of Dallas, Texas.

Larry Patterson is the owner of Glass Doctor in Dallas, Texas. Glass Doctor is a global franchise company providing home and auto glass repair, maintenance and installation. Larry has been a franchisee/business owner of Glass Doctor since 2003, served on the company’s leadership council and was named Franchisee of the Year in 2011.

Mark Welstead, president of Rainbow International.

Mark Welstead joined Rainbow International in 2012 and served as the VP of Operations. He was named the President in January 2014 and is responsible for the overall leadership, initiative, and growth of the thirty-year-old company, including sales and operational support. Mark’s broad business experience compliments the existing Rainbow International management team. In addition to Mark’s corporate experience, he has also worked for a number of businesses on a management consultant basis. These include commercial roofing, commercial and residential HVAC, franchise pest control, warehousing, distribution and third party logistics, as well as small manufacturing startups.

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