Winterize Your Home

by Melanie Stewart

With a little taste of cold weather last week, we are reminded that it’s not too late to make simple, inexpensive changes that can keep you comfortable this winter.  With almost 50% of your total energy bill going to heating, it can save you a lot of money too!  LiveGreen has plenty of tips below, including “how to” videos.

Stop cold air from getting in:

  • Install storm doors and windows, making sure they close securely.
  • Remove window A/C units or cover them, sealing the edges to the window frame.
  • Caulk gaps on the exterior between window frames and siding, as well as the frame around your attic. Plug all holes and caulk all gaps where different building materials meet – along the foundation and where chimneys, pipes and wires enter the home.
  • Close the damper on your fireplace when you’re not using it or use a chimney balloon.
  • Weatherstrip windows and exterior doors and adjust or replace door sweeps.
  • Put draft snakes or rolled up towels against doors and on window sills.
  • Insulate electrical boxes that house outlets and switches in exterior walls with pre-cut foam gaskets.
  • Put window plastic over leaky windows.

Keep the warm air in:

  • Add insulation to your walls and attic.
  • Insulate exposed hot water pipes.
  • Insulate the basement rim joist that separates the frame of your house from the foundation
  • Seal duct work with duct sealing tape or mastic.

Use less energy:

  • Run ceiling fans clockwise to circulate warmer air down into the living space.
  • Clean or replace furnace filters regularly. This increases efficiency while extending the life of the unit.
  • Open and clean vents in rooms you use; close vents in unused rooms.
  • Get a programmable thermostat and turn the heat down when you leave the house and when you sleep.
  • Set your thermostat as low as you comfortably can when you’re home; wear an extra layer or grab a blanket.
  • Turn down the water heater. Lowering the temperature to 120° F can reduce your water heating costs 6% -10%.

Other Resources:

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