If you live in a region that experiences cold winter months, it's important to ensure that your home is as energy-efficient as possible. Although you may need a professional for some of the jobs, there's also a lot you can do yourself to save money on energy bills.
It's that time of year again. Winter means holidays, snowball fights, and winterizing your home to withstand the cold months ahead. There are many things we can do to winterize our homes before the snow comes that will help decrease our utility payments, and also protect our home from having issues from the low temperatures. Anything from water pipes to windows and doors can be winterized in your home and we're here to tell you how to make sure you're as prepared as you can be this winter. Here are some tips for how you can prepare your home for the coming months.
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning systems are all included in the HVAC category and can have negative effects on your home and your finances if not properly winterized. Heat can escape through air ducts and vents and leave your house chilly and expensive during winter.
Nobody enjoys paying for too much hot water in the winter unless it's being used for hot showers after an afternoon of shoveling the sidewalk. In the winter, we can lose a lot of our heat (and money) if we're not careful. Repairing leaking hot water facets, replacing old water tanks, and insulating pipes are just a few of the things you can do to winterize your home.
According to Energy Star, about 20% of the air you use to heat your house is lost through leaks and incomplete sealing on windows and doors. This type of loss can contribute to high costs and a home that is hard to keep warm!
Poor insulation can be the cause of high heating costs in the wintertime. Good insulation can save energy costs in the winter and the summer and should be updated and added to as needed throughout the year. There are several types of insulation, each with its own benefits, so check with a professional to see which type would work best for winterizing your home.
Keep your fireplace flue/damper closed tightly when you're not using the fireplace. Please note that some gas fireplaces require that the damper is open, so be sure to check with your manufacturer or the person who installed it to be sure. A gas insert that is not properly ventilated can be extremely dangerous. Another solution is to install glass fireplace doors, which can drastically reduce heat loss. Chimneys with an open flue when not in use can actually suck heat from the home like a vacuum.
Note: Low-income homes may qualify for an average of $6,500, to be used for weatherization, through state government programs. Click here to learn more. www.dsireusa.org.