With the unseasonably balmy weather we’ve been experiencing this winter, was your home prepared for the first major snowstorm a few weeks ago? If not, there are some simple steps you can take to keep your home feeling cozy and warm well before the next winter storm hits Connecticut.
We talk a lot about managing energy use but getting a handle on your home’s energy loss is just as important. It’s the first step toward saving and keeping your energy costs in check for the future. Weatherization, including plugging and sealing air leaks, can save you more than you might think on heating bills. Worn, torn or inadequate weather stripping around doors and windows creates drafts and allows the heat to easily escape. In fact, according to ENERGY STAR, if you add up all the leaks, holes and gaps in a typical home, it would be the equivalent of having a window open every day of the year!
So take a little time to look around your house for places where you could be losing energy and check out these top-to-bottom tips for weatherizing before the next round of frosty weather heads our way.
Attic - Inadequate insulation and unsealed air leaks can contribute to ice dams, a major problem in the Northeast. So in addition to upgrading wall insulation, be sure to weather-strip and insulate your attic thoroughly. Seal around plumbing vents, both in the attic floor and in the roof and don’t forget to weather-strip the access door or hatch.
Windows & Doors – According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafty windows can be responsible for up to 25% of your heating bill! Caulk the inside of the window frame and where the frame meets the wall. If using a caulking gun is intimidating, consider temporary flexible rope caulk which can be found at most home improvement stores and is easy to put on and peel off.
Another easy, low-cost way to combat heat loss around windows and doors is by adding self-adhesive weather-stripping. This easy step helps block air leaks in windows and is also great for doors that lead outside and to garages and porches. Also, adding an inexpensive door sweep at the bottom of these doors will help block the cold out and keep the heat in.
Under cabinet sinks – If you have gaps in the dry wall around the sink pipes, that’s another area where cold air can weasel its way in and make a bathroom chilly. Using spray foam, you can easily seal off those gaps.
Living areas – Most people don’t think about their recessed lighting as an entry point but upper level lights have vents that open into the attic – a direct route for heat to escape. Caulking these will help minimize heat loss and make the rooms they illuminate more comfortable. You can also install foam-rubber gaskets behind electrical outlets and switch trim plates on exterior walls. If you have a fireplace, be sure to keep the flue closed when not in use.
In addition to offering ways to save energy, we can also help you get the work done. If you’re no Bob-the-Builder, a home energy assessment and service can make your house more energy-efficient with on-the-spot improvements to make your home weather-tight right away. Energize Connecticut’s Home Energy Solutions program:
- Pinpoints where your house is losing energy
- Determines if your heating and cooling systems are operating efficiently
- Includes energy-saving improvements such as air sealing and lighting upgrades
- Shows you ways to save energy and make your home more comfortable
- Identifies improvements that will save you the most money and energy, immediately & long term
If you're interested in Home Energy Solutions, call 877-WISE-USE (877-947-3873) or visit here.