16 - 2009

Ready to winterize? Join the Weekend Winterizing Challenge!

It’s October, and around here, that means we’re gearing up for the frigid blasts of Halloween that require every child’s costume to accommodate a parka beneath it (except for last year, but that was an eerie fluke).

In fact, we have already experienced some frigid blasts, with four record-setting cold temperatures within a 24-hour period last week.

To help motivate myself — and you — to get into a winter energy-saving mindset, I’m collaborating with Jennie Dorris, who writes Denver’s 5280 Magazine’s Cheap Thrills blog, to put together an eight-week Weekend Winterizing Challenge.

Every Friday, one of us will put up a new post with a winterizing tip.

  • Jennie, who rents her home and is, as she put it, “more at the 101 level,” will focus on tasks that you can do in a home or apartment that you don’t own, without a huge investment and without making permanent changes to the property.
  • I’ve been a homeowner for 9 years, so in theory I know what I’m doing here. I also have the mortgage papers that give me the right to make permanent changes to my property. We won’t dive into structural changes right now, and I don’t have the budget to go completely solar or anything, but I’ll step up some of the tasks for homeowners or more experienced winterizers.

Workin’ on the weekends

We’re publishing our projects on Fridays in hopes that many of us can jump in over the weekend and work on the project at about the same time, giving each other moral support for these energy-saving tasks.

In case you need incentive, winterizing has a zillion benefits. Or at least 4:

  • You can lower your utility costs by reducing the energy you use to heat your house.
  • You can lower your contribution to environmental pollution by using less energy — whether natural gas or electricity, which frequently comes from burning coal.
  • You can make your home more comfortable by reducing drafts and staying warmer.
  • You can get in touch with your crafty side and reap the satisfaction of knowing you improved your home yourself.

You can read Jennie’s first Weekend Winterizing Challenge post here. She writes about exactly how to put on removable plastic to cut out drafts from rental windows.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy solution that offers privacy benefits and, perhaps, a decorative touch, check out this link, which shows an image of using bubble wrap on the window. Bubble wrap can insulate the glass and make your abode blurry to prying eyes. You can stick it on temporarily with a quick slather of water, or use double-faced adhesive tabs for a more permanent solution. Check a shipping store for gently used bubble wrap, if for some reason you are lacking a pile of it in a basement or closet corner.

Want to join the Winter Winterizing Challenge?

If you are in for this challenge — again, it’s one project a week for eight weeks, now through Dec. 3 — sign in below. If you have a blog, leave a link, and I’ll post a list of participants on this blog.

The rules are simple:

  • Check in and read our posts each week.
  • Follow along with our winterizing schedule – or dive in at your own pace.
  • Comment on either or both blogs with how it went for you, other experiences you’ve had with the projects, and any other feedback you have for us.
  • Check your utility bill after the challenge against a similar bill from last year to see if you’ve made a difference.

Now I’m off to my own window winterizing project. I’ll check in with my story next week, hopefully to inspire you on your own winterizing journey.

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