In the coming cooler months, keeping your house warm can be an issue. Some houses are very expensive to heat because they may have flaws in the insulation, windows, or doors. By making a few small improvements you can keep your home several degrees warmer. As an added benefit, many of the tips below will also increase your energy efficiency and keep your energy bills low.
Insulation is fairly cheap and easy to install. There are many areas in your home that could benefit from proper or added insulation. Some areas that often lack efficient insulation and allow heat to escape are:
Basement and Attics—By adding a layer of insulation to your basement and attic you will help the primary living areas of your home stay warm. Even if don’t you use your attic or basement on a daily basis, adding insulation will help keep heat from escaping the house. This will keep each room warmer longer, preventing you from having to keep the heat on constantly.
Pipes—The more your hot water heater has to work to keep your water warm the more energy you waste in escaped heat. To keep heat where it is needed most, and keep your water hotter for longer periods of time, insulate the pipes in your basement and underneath your home. This will also prevent outdoor pipes from freezing in the winter.
Fill the Gaps
Before winter begins, walk through your home both inside and outside to look for any cracks or gaps that may need to be filled. These areas could be allowing cold air in or letting the heat in your home escape. The location and size of the crack or gap is will determine the type of filler you will need to use to close it. Also take a look at your heating ducts to see if there are any cracks that can be covered with heavy-duty electrical tape.
Seal Drafty Windows and Doors
If you have drafty windows and doors, we recommend replacing them with new energy efficient ones. If you are not able to replace any windows or doors, you can seal them with weather stripping. If you have sealed your windows but your windowpanes are still allowing cold air in, purchase indoor window insulation. These kits allow you to apply a plastic coating to the interior of your windows that will help to keep warm air in and cold air out. All you will need is a kit, a step stool or ladder, scissors, and a hairdryer.
Service Your Heating Units
Another good thing to do before the winter season kicks off is have your heating units inspected and have any annual maintenance completed. This could be a water heater tune-up to make sure it is working at its full capacity. And you may need to change or clean your air filters to ensure that you don’t overwork your furnace and waste energy. If you are not able to service your units yourself you can hire an outside contractor for general maintenance and tune-ups.
Each of these heat saving ideas will help keep your home toasty and warm in the fall and winter months.
This article was written by Brandon Irving, a home contractor and freelance blogger with years of experience in the industry. He suggests contacting a professional, like the AC Man of Houston, for more project needs and questions.
We recommend replacing old drafty windows with new energy efficient windows. Give us a call for a free in home estimate to see how we can help you save money this winter and make your home more energy efficient! – Gary B.