We often think of spring and summer as the seasons to make home improvements — think “spring cleaning” or “summer sprucing.”
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However, winter can be the perfect time for some maintenance projects. You can improve your home’s energy efficiency, ensure your heating system is safe, and even brighten your interior during the dark winter months.
GOBankingRates took a look at 8 projects you can do now for $1,000 or less.
Clean Your Chimney
If you haven’t had a fire in your fireplace yet, you’ll want to get your chimney inspected and cleaned. Over time, creosote (a dark brown oil) can build up in your chimney, reducing airflow. Your chimney could also be home for birds or critters, and they could block smoke from escaping.
This is definitely not a job you want to try yourself either. It’s well worth paying the expert.
Replace Old Weatherstripping
Feeling a draft when it’s cold outside? You might have old, cracked weatherstripping. Replacing your weatherstripping can improve your home’s energy efficiency by preventing heat from leaking out.
This is a relatively easy job you can do yourself, and you’ll recover the cost fairly quickly with lower energy bills.
Replace Your Furnace Filters
This seems like a minor maintenance item, but clean filters are better for your furnace, preventing dust and dirt from getting into the machinery, and for your indoor air. Because you’re probably spending more time indoors during the winter months, make sure to replace your HVAC filters.
Insulate Your Attic
If your attic isn’t properly insulated, you’re guaranteed to be losing heat and paying higher energy bills. A completely new installation of insulation for a 1,500-square-foot home will be over budget, but if you’re just replenishing what’s in your attic, you can do this for under $1,000.
Switch To LED Light Bulbs
Winter is a good time to brighten your home, and new light bulbs can help. Choosing LED lights can save up to 75% on energy bills, according to the Department of Energy. LED light bulbs also last 25 times longer, so you’re definitely making a smart investment.
LED light bulbs can cost up to 14 times as much as regular incandescent bulbs, reports greenenergy.org, but you’ll make up the savings with more efficient energy use.
Insulate and Winterize Your Pipes
This is an essential task if you live in a colder climate. Make sure to turn off your water to external spigots, covering the faucets with a Styrofoam cover. Also, wrap any exposed pipes with insulated cloth.
Replace Batteries in Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Technically, you’re supposed to do this each time you change your clocks to or from daylight savings. But we’re guessing you didn’t remember then, so do it right now!
Paint a Room… or Two
You might be surprised to think of painting during the winter, but manufacturers are offering the best deals on paints during this time, the Washington Post reports. There’s also typically less humidity and moisture in the air, so paint will adhere to surfaces better
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 8 Home Maintenance Projects To Tackle This Winter for $1,000 or Less