With winter approaching it’s important to prepare your home. Drafts or leaks can make the winter season in your home uncomfortable, and even cause susceptibility to illness. Proper preparation does more than keep you warm and snug, it can lead to significant energy savings. Here are some tips to help you stay warm this winter, without running up your heating bill.
Finding the Source of Leaks and Drafts
One or two drafts can cost you serious money! A leak or draft can decrease your home’s energy efficiency by anywhere from five to thirty percent. To find the source of leaks and drafts check where two different building materials meet, for example: corners or frames. If a visual inspection does not yield results another option is an incense test. Light a candle or a stick of incense and hold it in front of your window or door. If the smoke wavers, then you could have cold air sneaking in.
Improve your window’s ability to seal out the cold by scraping away old caulking and applying new caulking. To do this, first clean the dirt from the window with soapy water and then wipe dry. Apply fresh caulk around the window frame and siding. For the best results, use exterior grade caulk, either one hundred percent silicone sealant or acrylic caulk that will last for years.
Once you are finished caulking outside, you can move inside and begin weather stripping to seal around the sash – which is the movable parts of the window that opens and closes. Although there are many options for weather stripping, one of the easiest are window insulation kits. These large sheets of adhesive plastic cover your window, insulating it, and when properly installed are virtually invisible. The one drawback is that you cannot open your windows until spring.
Check Your Door’s Alignment
Like your windows, you can improve your door’s insulating power by looking for drafts and leaks. Then solve those issues by caulking the exterior and working on your door’s frame. However, it is also important to check your door’s alignment; adjusting the hinges and strike plates if necessary.
Replace Inefficient Windows and Doors
Even though replacing your windows and doors is an investment, it’s an investment that proves its worth because it will increase your home’s energy efficiency. This increased efficiency will save you money.
Consider Thermo-Bilt windows. They are made of low-emissivity glass, which has a thin metallic coating that reflects heat back to its source. Thermo-Bilt windows also breaks down organic material, which allows in more light. Allowing more light in reduces the need for energy consumption. Thermo-Bilt doors are also built with energy efficiency in mind, no matter the material.
There are many ways to identify areas that are draining your home’s energy efficiency. However, it is important to recognize when the simple fixes are not enough.