Summer may still be with us but now is a good time to look at work to be done around your home. Start planning now for winter storms and colder temperatures and you will reap the benefits in terms of energy savings this winter. Start by doing a walk-through of your home, identifying areas that need repairs and improvements. If you start now, the work can be spread out through the fall while the weather is still good. By tackling one project at a time over a slightly longer period, you can accomplish more without feeling overwhelmed, and make it easier on your budget.
Here is a checklist to consider:
* Look for disconnected ductwork; air leaks can cause a big energy loss.
* Inspect and seal heating ducts. If you have a forced hot air furnace, where warm air blows into your home through floor or wall registers, your heating system is probably leaking warm air. Many heating ducts are never sealed when they are installed so you can save energy by reducing those leaks. Apply mastic and tape or another UL181-approved sealant to seams and gaps in sheet metal ducts.
* Insulate heating ducts. Encase heating ducts located in unheated areas of your home with at least R-5 insulation. Insulating ducts will save you energy.
* Insulate water and heating lines to prevent freezing and stop heat loss. Enclose plumbing pipes with pipe wrap, which can be purchased inexpensively at your local hardware store.
* Seal pipe and wire penetrations and other air leaks throughout your house, attic, and basement with silicon caulk or expanding foam. Check the pipes running to your laundry, kitchen and bathroom for costly air leaks.
* Install foam gaskets behind electrical switch and outlet covers. Outlet and switch plate gaskets are available at hardware stores, and fixtures can easily be sealed with silicone caulk.
* Install a programmable setback thermostat.
* Caulk around windows and doors; weather strip all doors, especially those leading to unheated areas. As your home settles, gaps can open along the door frame and threshold, letting in air. Installing or replacing the weather stripping around the door and threshold can solve this problem.
* Apply glazing compound to wooden windows where the glass meets the frame, then caulk where the window meets the house. Seal around aluminum windows with weather stripping.
Later in the fall, consider these tasks:
* Install storm windows or use plastic covering on the outside of windows. Repair or replace broken or cracked glass in windows or doors.
* Adjust register openings in the home–remember, hot air rises, so upstairs registers and radiators should be partially closed.
* If radiators are located near walls, place a sheet of aluminum foil between the wall and the radiator to reflect heat back into the room.
Summer is also a good time to ask yourself if more extensive upgrades are needed, such as changing to energy efficient windows, energy efficient doors, or upgrading the insulation in your home. If your home was built prior to the 1970s, there is a good chance that the insulation is not sufficient.
Contact us to learn more about whether you need an insulation upgrade and the options available. We can also advise you on the latest in energy-efficient doors and windows. You can also visit the Services page of this website for further details.Share post