These tools and materials can help you winterize your home from a tough Buffalo winter– and they’re less than $100 each at your local hardware store!
• Basic caulk gun ($20) and four tubes of caulk ($7.50 each) to fill gaps in siding, windows and doors. For drafty windows and doors, don’t just fill the gaps on the outside, says home renovation and remodeling consultant Dean Bennett of Dean Bennett Design and Construction in Castle Rock, CO. “Pull the molding off to fill the insulation gaps around the window jamb.” If you prefer, you can use a can of low-expansion window foam ($7 each) instead of caulk. Cost: $50
• Plastic film window insulating kit, enough for five to six windows. Cost: $20
• Weatherstripping for windows, four 17-foot rolls. Cost: $20 ($5 each)
• Replacement filter for central heat and air unit. Mike Kuhn, director of technical services at HouseMaster and author of “The Pocket Idiot’s Guide to Home Inspections,” says it’s a must to change your furnace and air conditioning filter on a regular basis, at least every three months. “Clogged filters reduce heating and cooling efficiency and can reduce the useful life of the appliance,” says Kuhn. Cost: $10
• Door threshold/sweep strip (three) to fill air leaks beneath doors. Cost: $75 ($25 each)
• Door gasket (three) to fill leaks around doors. Mark Furst of Grading Spaces, a home inspection and performance analysis company in Fort Atkinson, WI, recommends that homeowners check all exterior doors for tight-sealing gaskets. “I often see doors that only seal well when the door is slammed and then the deadbolt lock engages,” he says, blaming the condition on worn-out gaskets, though the doors themselves are still in good shape. “Adding a sweep strip to the bottom of the door helps to block drafts,” he adds. Cost: $75 ($25 each)