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Getting Your Home Ready for Winter

Posted on October 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

shutterstock_50377147There’s no better motivator for winterizing your home than the ever-rising heating costs.  You can save hundreds of dollars by simply preparing your home for the cold weather to come.  We’ve provided a list of tips to get your home ready for the upcoming winter, which the Farmers’ Almanac is predicting to be a harsh one!

“For 2013–2014, we (the Farmers’ Almanac) are forecasting a winter that will experience below average temperatures for about two-thirds of the nation.”  In fact, “significant snowfalls are forecast for parts of every zone (in the United States).” 1

Winterizing Tips:

Leaks.  “If you add up all the hidden air leaks in your home, they can equal a hole the size of an open window — and can lead to higher energy bills by allowing heat to escape and causing your system to work harder to keep you comfortable.” 2

  • One of the best ways to begin your project is to actually check the exterior of your house for cracks and fill them with a caulking compound.
  • Weather-stripping and caulking is probably the least expensive, simplest, most effective way to cut down on energy waste in the winter. “Improperly sealed homes can waste 10 to 15 percent of the homeowner’s heating dollars.” 3
  • Windows can greatly affect a home’s energy performance.  Properly weather-stripping windows helps to avoid the heat from escaping outside.
  • If your windows leak really badly, consider replacing them with newer, more energy efficient ones.
  • Check around doors for leaks and drafts. Add weather-stripping and caulk any holes you see that allow heat to escape. Make sure doors seal properly.

Insulation.  Inspect your insulation for any water damage caused by leaks.

  • Don’t forget to check the attic space to ensure it has adequate amounts of insulation.  Adding insulation to your home can save you hundreds in energy bills, keeping more of the heat in your home and allowing you to turn down your thermostat.  This improvement is one of the lowest cost and can potential save the most on energy bills.
  • Insulating your attic (at least 12 inches of insulation), especially in older homes, that can be the most cost-efficient way to cut home heating costs. Before energy efficiency standards, homes were often built with little or no insulation. As a result, large amounts of heat can be lost through walls, floors and – since heat rises – especially ceilings.
  • Weather-strip and insulate your attic hatch or door to prevent warm air from escaping out the top of your house.  An attic tent can also be added. 

For more assistance on winterizing your home, contact P.J. Fitzpatrick.  We offer a couple of insulation services, most notable we install eShieldTM Radiant Barrier and blown-in insulation.  One of the most effective ways to lower your energy bill.  eShield helps retain your home’s interior warmth in winter and deflect radiant energy from your home in the summer.  We perform more conventional insulation services as well.

In addition to insulation our repair specialists have a number of things they do around your home to help keep the cold out.  Re-caulking drafty windows, re-adjusting chilly/squeaky doors, weather-strip installation, you would be surprised what a difference a small inexpensive repair can make!

 

Sources:

1 http://www.farmersalmanac.com/weather/2013/08/25/2014-us-winter-forecast/

2 http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=products.es_at_home_countdown

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