Itís that time of yearÖ. The dreaded winter. For many of us that means cold and snow outside and curling up on the couch under a blanket inside. For some of us, this time of year also serves as a wake-up call to the energy efficiency of our homes. How do you keep the cold out, the heat in, and your bills down?
Check out your windows and doors. They can be some of your biggest energy wasters, allowing air to come in to the home. Check your weather stripping and replace broken parts. Use storm windows and doors to keep the drafts out. You could also choose to buy a kit to attach a plastic covering over your windows and seal out the drafts that way. This will help to cut down on the drafts in the home, and cut down on your heating bills.
The best way to protect yourself from those high heating bills and to keep your home comfortable is to make sure your home is well-insulated. First, insulate any unfinished attic or crawlspace. You could add insulation between the walls and ceilings between your living space and the unheated basement or garage as well to help keep warm air IN and cold air OUT.
But what kind of insulation will you need? Of course, youíll want to consider how easy it would be to install the insulation, the cost of it and the durability. Since there are many different materials to choose from, it would be best to speak to a professional or a salesperson to help you determine what your specific needs are.
When deciding how much insulation you will need, consider the insulationís R-value. The R-value is the rating of how well the material can block heat. The higher the value, the better the material is as an insulator. Therefore, if you choose something with a higher R-value, you will need less of it to insulate than if you were to choose a lower value material.
Looking for a couple more ways to keep your home comfortable? Here are a couple more suggestions. Keep your thermostat set at a certain temperature in the winter and a certain temperature in the summer. For example, keep it at 68 degrees in the winter. By keeping your temperature set and not making constant adjustments to it, you can stabilize your energy bills while keeping yourself comfortable. An energy efficient fireplace can be an economical option for supplemental heat. But fireplaces can also be a big energy leak, so make sure warm air isnít escaping when youíre not using the fireplace by checking dampers and screens. Also consider installing an energy-saving firebox to help circulate that heat!
We hope you can put some of these tips to good use. Keep yourself warm this winter and keep those heating bills down!
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