Wintertime weather can place a major strain on our home’s heating system, leaving homeowners with hefty energy bills. But, there are ways to winter-proof one’s home, ensuring you and your loved ones stay cozy—without spending too much money—all season long. Here, the home improvement professionals at Delbert Adams Construction Group LLC details ways for homeowners to effectively winterize their home.
Change Furnace Filters
This an easy, although forgettable, tip for energy-saving: clean or replace your furnace filter monthly during the heating season. A dirty filter restricts airflow, requiring more energy—and thus more money—to heat your home. Place reminders on your calendar to perform this critical task. Want to avoid the hassle? Invest in a permanent, electrostatic or HEPA filter, which greatly improve the quality of the air inside your home.
Insulate Your Pipes
Insulating hot water pipes not only saves you money on your water bill, but can also help prevent your pipes from freezing, which can be a disastrous and expensive event. If a pipe is warm to the touch, it is one worth insulating. Do this by purchasing pipe foam, which is pre-cut and often found at most hardware stores. Pipe foam is labelled by its R-value, or heat-insulating capability: for example, pipe foam labelled as R-3 is less insulating than foam labelled as R-7. After determining which type of foam best suits your needs, cut it to fit the pipe you are insulating, and secure in place with duct tape.
Caulk or Weather-Strip Trouble Spots
Over time, certain areas of your home—like the edges of windows, the foundation and places where wires or pipes exit—become vulnerable to cracks, gaps and leaks. These often allow heated air to escape, and cold air to enter, forcing your heating system to work harder to keep your home warm. Prevent this by using caulk or weather-stripping to fill in these trouble spots. Unsure if an area is leaking warm air? Use the incense test: carefully move a lit incense stick along an area you believe may be a problem. If the smoke from the stick wavers in a certain spot, that area is allowing cold air in, and warm air out.
Install Storm Doors and Windows
Did you know that your home’s energy efficiency could be increased up to 45% by installing a storm door or windows? Energy-star certified models are the most effective choice, and will help prevent warm air from escaping your home, as well as drafts. They also allow for more light and ventilation, making them a great year-round choice. Installing storm doors or windows may also qualify you for a money-saving tax credit: 10% of the cost of storm doors and windows (not to exceed $500 in any year) can be earned.
Enlist the Help of a Certified Home Inspector and Contractor
The change of seasons in a great time to have a certified home inspector perform a thorough check-up on your home, ensuring it remains safe, secure and energy-efficient. The inspectors and contractors at Delbert Adams Construction Group’s Gold Services have years of experience helping homeowners maintain and repair the many facets of their homes. Let us help you prepare for the winter season! For more information, contact us today.