Weatherizing Your Home for Winter

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They say we can’t control the weather, and for the next few months, that may work to our advantage. “Why?” you may ask. Well, you may have seen the news stories purporting that El Nino’s arrival is expected to lower home heating energy costs this year, and that can definitely make for some happy holidays. That said, you can take this holiday season from happy to downright jingle bell-ringing jolly by taking just a few easy an inexpensive steps to reduce your utility bills even more!

 

1) First, install a programmable thermostat to regulate your home’s climate constantly. Set it for a few degrees cooler than what is comfortable for you during the day have the heat begin to rise just before you arrive home. This strategy also works well if you’re traveling out of town for a stretch. Note that you should NOT turn the heat all the way off or you risk returning home to frozen pipes.

 

2) Ensure that your floor registers, radiators, and baseboard heating units aren’t obstructed by furniture or drapes.

 

3) Reverse the direction of your ceiling fan so that it rotates clockwise. This will push the warm air down.

 

4) Consider hanging thicker drapes during the winter to help keep cold air out and warm air in.

 

5) Wrapping your hot water tank with a fiberglass blanket will help it to retain heat, enabling it to maintain proper temperatures while using less energy.

 

6) Weatherstrip around windows and doors, including attic and basement doors, as well as those to garages and porches or patio areas.

 

7) Use caulk or a foam sealant to seal any foundation wall holes and gaps between the wood structure and concrete foundation. Also, check for and seal any cracks where the floors and exterior walls meet. Other key places around which to caulk: bathroom vents, ceiling lights, electrical outlets, and soil stack penetrations.

 

8) If you use a fireplace, keep the damper closed tightly when NOT in use.

 

9) While this one isn’t a “quick and cheap” tip, it is one of the most effective and certainly doable within a weekend: install fiberglass attic insulation.

 

10) Finally, have your HVAC system serviced by a professional to ensure that it’s working properly. An inefficient system will simultaneously reduce your family’s comfort will increasing your home heating costs.

 

Even if you can’t complete every task on this list before the first ice storm of winter 2015 hits, just checking off two or three will yield noticeable savings.  For questions on this or to schedule a service call, please contact us at 405.789.5969.