- Posted by: Ana
- Category: Advice, Energy Efficiency
Is your home ready for the winter? Although we’ve already seen some frigid temperatures, it’s never too late to winterize your home. Here are some tips that will help keep your home energy efficient and comfortable.
Seal Up the Walls
The interior walls (usually drywall) are the barrier that keeps the cold out and your heat in. But think about all the sockets and switches that are installed in these walls. Get some caulk and seal up the faceplates of these switches and sockets. When dealing with electricity, just make sure you cut the power first.
Seal Up the Can Lights
Many old can lights are purposely vented to keep them from overheating. Remove the existing ring from the can and seal the can’s perimeter with caulk. If there were incandescent bulbs in those fixtures, just toss them out. Purchase LED recessed lights instead. They are much more efficient and last a lot longer.
Look For Insulation Gaps
Anywhere you have protrusions in your exterior walls is a potential place for outside air to make its way into your home. Check the spigots, cable lines, dryer vents, etc. for any leaks. Small gaps can be sealed with expanding foam. Larger gaps will require something like denim insulation. Denim insulation is made from post-consumer recycled clothing and is easy to use. Just measure the gap and tear off a piece to fit. Once that is done, check out where the foundation meets the house and crawlspace and fill those little forgotten cracks. Fill areas where you see even the slightest bit of daylight passing through.
Check the Heating System
Your home loses up to 30% of its efficiency from the heating system. Start by changing the air filter at the start of winter. It’s also a good idea to get a heating system tune up. A tune up is a small expense that could save lots of money down the road. Your furnace is going to be working hard to keep your home warm all winter.
Check Your Windows
A substantial amount of heat is lost through your windows. If you have single pane and/or poorly sealed windows chance are a ton of your heating bill is going right out the window. Check the weather stripping around the window pane and replace any that has been worn or cracked.
If you have older single pane windows, replacing them will not only improve your home’s efficiency but also increase your home’s value. While window replacement is costly, it is worth the investment. Make sure you install Low-E windows. Low-E coatings are microscopically thin, virtually invisible, metal or metallic oxide layers deposited on a window to suppress radiative heat flow. The coating keeps radiant heat on the same side of the glass from which it originated, all while letting visible light pass — which means in the winter heat is reflected in, and in the summer heat is reflected out.
Install a Smart Thermostat
Programmable thermostats come in a range of prices and features. The programmable thermostat allows you to set the temperature of your home based on seasons, time of day and temperature. Some of them have smartphone integration that allows you to set and check your home’s efficiency from virtually anywhere. They can even tell you when your filter needs to be changed.