Reduce Home Energy Bills and Keep Out Winter Chills
Winter is fast upon us. With colder temps can come higher heating bills. Before the first snowflakes start to fall, take time to do a walk-through of your home’s interior and exterior. Look for problem areas where heat can escape. Aside from changing the setting on your thermostat and changing your furnace’s air filter, there are a lot of things you can do to lower your energy bill this winter. Below are energy saving tips to reduce your home energy bills, keep you cozy through the cold winter months, and save you money on your home heating costs.
There’s nothing worse than sitting next to a draft. Here are a few things to consider when trying to keep cold air from coming into your home:
Doors. Look at your door during the day. If you see light coming through from underneath your door, that means the indoor air you’ve paid to heat your home is escaping. There are a few things you can do to prevent this issue.
- You can adjust the height of the door’s threshold by turning the screws in the threshold counterclockwise until the daylight is mostly gone. Be careful not to raise the threshold so high that opening and closing your door becomes difficult or that the door drags on the threshold. It’s okay to see some light in the corners.
- You can make or buy a double draft stopper (sometimes called a double draft dodger) that will sit beneath your door. These can fit below windows as well. These draft stoppers prevent cold air from seeping in and warm air from leaking out. At the store, double-sided door draft stoppers cost around $10 each, but they are easy to make with only fabric, thread, and pipe covers. Click here for a guide on how to make your own draft stopper.
- Installing a door sweep is another way to reduce the flow of air from underneath your doors.
Electrical Outlets. Drafts are created around electrical boxes in your exterior walls because insulation is not placed behind them and around them properly. Take the cover plates off and use acrylic latex caulk to fill small gaps around the boxes. Use a foam sealant to fill in larger gaps and put a foam gasket over the outlet or switch before you put the cover plate back on.
Seal Doors and Windows
Check doors and windows for worn weatherstripping and gaps in caulk. Also, check that your windows and doors lock tightly.
Weatherstripping. Look around windows and doors for weatherstripping that is worn and torn. Worn out weatherstripping will create drafts and let cold air in. Note that weatherstripping may need to be replaced every few years due to wear. Pull off the old weatherstripping and tack on the new. Foam weatherstripping placed around the inside of your door forms a seal and prevents air exchange.
Caulking. Make sure all windows are caulked properly. Sealing cracks outside your home will prevent cold air from entering your home and make your windows more energy efficient, which will make a big difference in reducing your heating coats. The heat of the summer can bake your caulk and cause it to dry out. If you’re seeing a lot of gaps in your caulk, then it’s time to re-caulk. Remember that new caulk will not stick properly if applied to old caulk. If you want to get a good seal around your window frame, remove the old caulk with a putty knife before you apply the new caulk.
Locking Doors and Windows. Check that your windows and doors lock tightly. You will want to lock your windows early so that they don’t freeze making them difficult to move and lock.
Switch to Storm Doors. If you haven’t done it yet, it’s time to switch your screen door out with a solid glass storm door, which will offer a barrier to the elements. If you are interested in getting an energy-efficient storm door or and want to make an upgrade with a new front door, learn more about the ProVia doors M&M Home Remodeling installs here.
Insulate Your Attic and Your Attic’s Access Door
We’ve talked about the importance of insulating your attic before, but don’t forget to make sure that your attic access door is properly insulated. Look at the access door. Is it warped? Does it lie flat? Is there something blocking in the opening? If you answered yes to any of these questions, warm air is escaping through your access door’s hatch. Use adhesive to attach fiberglass insulation to the attic side of the access door. If the door will not lie flat, you can install a latch bolt system to keep it closed tight.
If you need help winterizing your home with new windows, doors, or with attic insulation, call M&M’s professionals today for a free in-home consultation at: 1.800.930.2905. Check out some of the styles and choices you will have when choosing a ProVia door or window by visiting their website and trying out their exterior home design tool.