January 1, 2015 1:00 am
Hiring a professional energy auditor may seem unnecessary, but turning your home into an energy efficient machine will help you save more money in the long run. The auditor will point out spots of energy waste, poorly insulated areas and air leaks, and other places which are the main causes of higher-than-usual utility bills during the winter months. Once the auditor has pointed out the areas that need home improvement, it's time to go about winterizing those areas to save as much money as possible.
The term "winterize" is used in professional inspection services to refer to houses that are going to be vacant during the winter. However, there are ways to prepare (winterize) your home while living in it, which effectively protects it from the damaging effects of the harsh weather. Consider these tips for helping you make it through the winter in a comfortable and cozy fashion.
• Improve insulation. Poor insulation can cost you money on your utility bill year round, but especially during the winter when your cozy warm air is seeping through different leaks. If your home is not well-insulated, you will end up spending more money on gas and electricity trying to keep the heat in during the winter and out during the summer. This makes insulation improvements a top priority on your New Year's to-do-list for home repair and maintenance.
- Insulate all piping exteriorly exposed.
- Insulate your hot water tank with an insulation blanket.
- Install weatherstripping.
- Use a door sweep for extra insulation.
- Like storm windows, storm doors can help you save money by eliminating air leaks in this area.
• WindowsPreparing your home for winter doesn't have to mean locking yourself up in an igloo for four months! You can prepare your home for winter by redecorating your interior to match the seasonal trends and to add a new level of comfort and coziness to your humble abode.
- Find air leaks and seal them with caulking.
- Consider installing storm windows.
- Insulate your windows and save money in the New Year with eco-friendly shades that can also help keep you warm during the winter. The use of custom window coverings can help your home keep the heat in when the winds are blowing.
- Replace missing or damaged shingles.
- Clean gutters and downspouts.
- Check flashing around chimneys and other roof protrusions. Air often leaks around these areas.
• Outdoor landscape
- Cover furniture and external air conditioners.
- If your deck needs it, seal it before the wet winter ruins it completely.
- Drain gas from lawn mowers, leaf blowers and other outdoor equipment.
- Drain water from fountains.
- Purge sprinkler systems by shutting off water and blowing compressed air through system.
Source: Budget Blinds
Published with permission from RISMedia.