Quick, inexpensive tips to get your home ready for winter

Quick, inexpensive tips to get your home ready for winter

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Winter is coming and for many people, that's going to mean higher power bills.

Henrico County wants to help you save some cash with a free weatherization workshop on Saturday.

NBC12's Diva of Discounts got a firsthand demonstration of some of the cheaper projects you can do yourself that will lower your electric bill.

You're paying for that heat, so you certainly don't want it leaking out of your home. Windows are a huge culprit.

"You have the old, single pane glass, which is easy to leak through. It leaks through on the sides and the openings as well," said Monique Johnson of Environmental Green Solutions.

Windows can be sealed from the inside. Start by cleaning and sanding the surface and then add double sided adhesive tape.

"It's going to come in a pack like this and you can get this from any Home Depot, Lowe's and it's going to say Window Installation Shrink Kit," Johnson shows.

Peel the backing off the tape and press the clear plastic onto it.

"You want to go above the top part of the window and once you get it to shrink wrap and seal then you can cut off the excess," she said.

Ten minutes of high heat from a hair dryer will shrink and seal the wrap.

"The plastic is going to keep the airflow from coming into your home. Air can get in from anywhere, just like with your receptacle outlets," Johnson said. "When homes are built they don't insulate these so you have an open hole. Just take the cover off and they make the receptacle covers just for this."

If your water heater is in a conditioned space, it doesn't need to be insulated, but you will want to insulate the pipes. Hot is on the right, cold is on the left. You'll want to wrap them both.

"You're going to ask them for 3/4 inch piping to cover your water heater pipes," Johnson said.

Simple fixes outside include disconnecting hoses from water spigots and protecting them.

As she demonstrates, "Wrap this around the knob. Keep this on here and pull this string as tight as you can get it."

Cold air can freeze uninsulated pipes. If you can't close the vents in your foundation, they do make covers that are easy to install.

"And they just lock in place behind the screen," Johnson said. "Weatherize your house as much as you can because it's definitely going to save on your utility bills. It's definitely going to save on you having contractors have to come out."

These are just a few examples of what Johnson and the Henrico County Department of Community Revitalization will teach you this Saturday.

The workshop starts at 9 a.m. at the Eastern Henrico Government Center on Dabbs House Road.

Everyone is welcome. For information, call (804) 501-7640 or go to henrico.us/revit.

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