Winterize Your Home: Energy Saving Tips

The leaves are starting to turn and fall again. Old Man Winter will soon be upon us. Now is a good time to get ready to winterize your home. You will need to make a trip to the hardware store for a few items to help in winterizing your home. Pick up a tube or two of latex caulk, some weather strip for your doors and a couple cans of expanding foam. With energy costs going higher every year, conserving energy is a must. Here are some great tips on winterizing your home and saving a few dollars on your energy bill.

Cracks and holes are just like leaving a window open all winter long. Look around the exterior of your home for cracks or holes. Check on brick veneer, the foundation and in door and window casings. Check fascia and soffett boards for cracks and holes. Seal cracks with latex caulk and smooth over with your finger. For larger cracks and holes fill them with expanding foam to keep the heat in and winter’s chill out. While you are inspecting your foundation make sure to close your vents to keep the cold out from under your crawlspace. Look under your house if you have a crawlspace or basement for gaps around pipes, conduits and other penetrations and seal them off with expanding foam.

Windows generally allow more heat to escape from your home than any other part. Look closely for cracks and fill with expanding foam. Check to make sure all windows close tight and lock. Inspect any foam strips on windows and replace if necessary. If you have storm windows seal around the edges with latex caulk and smooth with your finger. You can also apply clear insulating film to your windows to help stop further heat loss.

Now lets check the weatherstripping around your doors. This is an important part to winterizing a home. Check to see if the weatherstrip is cracked, missing or smashed. Damaged weatherstripping can easily be replaced and really helps to keep the winter outside where it belongs. Now that we are finished outside lets go inside to do a few things.

Lets get up in the attic to start. Look at your insulation. For most areas of the United States you should have at least 6 inches of insulation in your attic. Remember warm air rises and will escape through your attic if you do not have an adequate amount of insulation in the attic.

Here is a great tip for saving energy. This is not so much a winterizing tip as it is a good way to conserve energy all year long. Wrap your water heater in an insulating blanket. This will stop heat loss through the side of the water heater allowing it to run less.

Before it is time to fire up the furnace, have it serviced by a qualified HVAC technician. Before winter comes have on hand a supply of furnace filters. You will need to change your filters once a month and maybe even twice. Keep the furnace running in tip top shape and change those filters for best energy saving performance. You can also close the heating vents and doors to rooms you will not be using in the winter to save on energy.

These simple and inexpensive repairs can keep you warm and cozy all winter long and help you save a bunch on your energy bill.

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