Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tips on Winterizing Your Home

Winter will be here before you know it! And it is important to take steps to winterize your home for the incoming cold season, whether you have an apartment or house.  These tips can help save you money in heating costs throughout the winter, so take them to heart!

 Change Furnace Filters

Yes it's easy to forget, but it's important to replace or clean furnace filters once a month during the heating season. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy demand. Here's a worry-saving tip: mark a monthly check on your calendar.


Run Fans in Reverse

Counterclockwise rotation produces cooling breezes while switching to clockwise makes it warmer: air pooled near the ceiling is circulated back into the living space - cutting your heating costs as much as 10%!

Winterize Your A/C and Water Lines

This one's really easy, and it will even save you a few pennies next summer, too: Simply drain any hoses and air conditioner pipes, and make sure you don't have excess water pooled in equipment. If your a/c has a water shutoff valve, go ahead and turn that off.

Turn Down Your Water Heater

While many conventional water heaters are set to 140 degrees F by installers, most households don't need that much steam, and end up paying for it -- in dollars and the occasional scalding burn. Lowering the temperature to 120 degrees F (or lower) would reduce your water heating costs by 6% to 10%.

Install Storm Doors and Windows

The simple act of installing a storm door can increase energy efficiency by 45%, by sealing drafts and reducing air flow. Storm doors also offer greater flexibility for letting light and ventilation enter your home.  Similarly, storm windows can make a huge difference when the cold wind starts blowing. It may be a pain, but it is well worth it to get them out of the shed or attic and install them for the season.

Put Up Some Plastic

For just a few dollars, pick up a window insulation kit at your local hardware or discount store. Don't worry -- properly installed, window plastic is essentially invisible. Adding a buffer against drafts and extra still air space can give a nice boost to your home's ability to hold heat.

Use Caulking and Weatherstriping

 Simple leaks can sap home energy efficiency by 5% to 30% a year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That means it pays to seal up gaps with caulking and weatherstripping.
Take a close look at places where two different building materials meet, such as corners, around chimneys, where pipes or wires exit and along the foundation. Use the incense test: carefully (avoiding drapes and other flammables) move a lit stick along walls; where the smoke wavers, you have air sneaking in. And heating or cooling sneaking out.

Boost Insulation

It may not seem like the most aesthetically pleasing thing to do, but insulation is one of the best ways to save energy and money at home. It can make a big difference to add more insulation between walls, and make sure your attic floor and basement ceiling are well covered.

Insulate Your Pipes

Pay less for hot water by insulating pipes. That can also help decrease the chance of pipes freezing, which can be disastrous. Check to see if your pipes are warm to the touch. If so, they are good candidates for insulation.








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