Temperatures are dropping and the chill of winter is in the air. Is your home ready for the cold weather? Here are a few suggestions on how to make sure your home stays warm and cozy through the winter months and possibly save money on your utility bill.
Doors and Windows
The first step in winterizing your home is to identify the drafty areas around your house. Do a room-to-room search paying close attention to the spaces around exterior doors and windows — these can be major sources of heat loss. Studies show that the average house can lose up to 30% of its heat through doors and windows. Use weatherstripping, caulk, plastic film or some other type of insulating material to seal any drafty spots you find.
Vents, Ducts, and Filters
Inspect your heating and ventilation system to make sure that it’s working at peak efficiency. Check the vents in every room to make sure they are clean and unobstructed. If possible, remove the vent covers and check the condition of the ducts. Keep an eye out for any excess dirt or broken seams — problems with your ductwork can reduce the efficiency of your heating system by as much as 20%. You should also check the filter on your home’s heat pump/furnace. If it’s visibly dirty, replace it. Clogged and dirty vents, ducts and filters have a real effect on your heating system. The harder it has to work to heat your home, the more energy it consumes.
Attics and Basements
If your home has an attic or basement, inspect the floors and walls for breaks, cracks or other openings that might allow cold air to seep into the house from outside. Use spray foam or another form of insulation to seal the cracks. Check the access hatches and doors for any gaps that could let warm air escape. Depending on the size of the gaps, use spray foam or weatherstripping to seal to them up.
DIY or Professional
Winterizing your home can be a great DIY project, but if you have any doubts about how to identify and deal with drafts and other home heating issues, contact a professional technician for help.
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