Temperatures are falling quickly and before you blink the first winter storm will hit your home. Before that happens you need to take steps to ensure your home is properly winterized and that starts with making your home energy efficient.
Losing heat is not only uncomfortable but also wastes energy and money. Here are a few simple tips to make sure you’ve covered the basics of winterizing your home.
1. Check for drafts
Homes lose most of their energy around doors and windows that aren’t properly sealed. Move your hand about 4 inches from the edge of your doors and windows and feel for cool air. It’s not the big drafts you’ll feel but the little ones that add up to costing you money.
Another way to check for drafts is to use a candle and move the flame around the edges of doors and windows. Make sure the air in the room is still and look for the flame to flicker. (photo above)
2. Seal doors and windows
Once you’ve identified a draft make sure the weatherstripping is still good in that spot. It may have rotted or peeled away. In that situation replace it. If the weatherstripping is good check that the alignment of your door or window is even and nothing is blocking it from closing properly.
3. Install a programmable thermostat
Keeping your home at a comfortable 72 degrees isn’t necessary when no one is home. Invest in a programmable thermostat and set it to come on in the morning when you are getting ready for work and in the evenings when you are home. You can even lower the temp while you are sleeping. Here’s a how to guide for installing a programmable thermostat.
Take a peek in the attic and make sure the corners of rooms are properly insulated, where the walls meet the ceiling. This is where contractors can tend to cut corners and not cut insulation batts to fit in tight spaces.
Check water heaters, pipes and heating ducts to make sure they are insulated. They should be properly wrapped lest you lose a lot of warm air and water heat.