- Egypt rights center raided, 2 Mubaraks acquitted
- New Mexico Supreme Court rules same-sex marriage constitutional
- Blame Bush: 5 years later, that’s still the mantra, pollsters find
- Dutch prostitutes demand same retirement benefits as soccer stars
- John McCain to Harry Reid: I’ll ‘kick the crap’ out of you
- Dogs that talk: Researchers seek $10K for ‘No More Woof’ technology
- 1,000 firefighters called to battle stubborn Big Sur wildfire
- Black Friday brouhaha: Millions of Target shoppers hit by credit card theft
- Britain orders airplane to rescue citizens from violent South Sudan
- Mega Millions winner emerges as Georgia mom, in ‘disbelief’
Cover story: Winterizing helps wallet, even sales appeal
Question of the Day
If you live in an older home with radiators, be sure to bleed your radiator valves. Planning to use your fireplace this winter? Don’t forget to have it inspected by a professional. Keep the damper closed when not in use, and consider replacing the mesh screen with glass doors to help keep out the cold air.
Also on the docket in the heating department: Keep costs down by lowering the thermostat - but not too low. Home sellers are likely to find that a welcoming temperature in the home also may mean warmer buyers.
“Buyers don’t like it when everything is shut off,” Ms. Isaacs said. “In terms of ambience, it’s not the best thing to walk into an empty, cold space.”
If you are still living in your home while it is on the market, Ms. Isaacs recommends leaving a basket of inexpensive boot coverings by your front door.
“It saves your floors and carpets, and it shows buyers that you care,” she noted.
Next up: windows and doors. Remember that any leaks will lower the temperature of your home and drive up heating costs. Check for drafts, apply caulk if necessary, and remove summer screens and replace them with storm windows.
If you can afford it, replace single-paned windows with double-hung ones, which will offer greater energy savings. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, homeowners who upgrade old windows and appliances can save up to 30 percent on their annual heating bills.
Doors, too, offer a chance for the cold air to come creeping in, so you may want to consider adding weatherstripping, a very inexpensive fix.
Remember, too, that plumbing can be an issue during the colder months. Exposed pipes can freeze and burst, leading to disastrous conditions within, particularly for absentee home sellers or wintertime vacationers.
“The amount of damage that a burst pipe can cause is pretty unbelievable,” Ms. Isaacs said. “I’ve had some real jaw-dropping moments.”
So wrap those pipes with insulation or even newspaper — or hire a professional to do it.
“If the temperature gets below freezing, consider adding extra insulation,” Mr. Thompson said. “A lot of older homes don’t have insulation up to today’s standards.”
Outside, check the roof for missing or loose shingles. Cut away tree branches that might fall on the house during a heavy storm. Clean gutters and downspouts so melting snow has somewhere to go when the weather finally warms.
And don’t neglect the foundation. Be sure to rake leaves and other debris away, look for cracks and other openings and seal as need be. Look for water damage and dry rot around windows and repair if necessary. In particular, examine areas where two different building materials meet, a source of potential trouble in the mortar.
This is also a good time to repair and seal your patio, not to mention your driveway and deck.
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Fourth Amendment says Obama is not at liberty to collect metadata
- Calling sentence disparities unfair, Obama pardons 8 crack offenders
- Homeland Security helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson suspended indefinitely for gay quip
- Bill Gates: The Secret Santa disguised as a 'friendly fellow' on Reddit
- Armed response, not restrictive gun laws, brought swift end to school shooting
- Obamacare 'pajamas boy' gets roundly mocked
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- Democrats cite pope in call for minimum wage hike, jobless benefits
- Outrage over Phil Robertson suspension, 'malignant' political correctness
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Crystal Wright is a black conservative woman living in Washington, D.C.
Wall Street news for retail investors who want to know what's going on.
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up by Lisa King Dolloff and friends.
Entertainment News and Reviews from Washington, D.C. and beyond.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow