Like it or not colder weather is coming and you need to think about getting your home ready for the winter. There are a number of “winterizing” projects you can do around your home to make it more comfortable and more energy efficient. Some of them cost very little. For example, most of the following projects should cost you less than $50.
Replace Door Stops
Check at the bottom of your exterior doors. If you can see light underneath, you need a new door stop. Don’t forget about your garage door. Most garages are unheated and uninsulated, so trying to make them more energy efficient is difficult. However, if there is a gap when the door is closed, it’s time to replace the stop.
Have your furnace cleaned and inspected. You don’t want any unpleasant surprises when you turn it on that first cold morning. Not only will your furnace be ready to go to work for you, you will have the satisfaction of knowing it is not leaking carbon monoxide. And don’t forget to change the filter on your furnace on a regular basis throughout the heating and cooling season.
Add Basement Storm Windows
Since most basement windows are single pane glass, heat can escape. Your basement will be warmer with storm windows and you’ll see less condensation on the inside of the windows.
Insulate Electrical Outlets
Hold your hand in front of an outlet on an outside wall and you’ll be amazed at the cold air that comes in. Multiply that by all the outlets on outside walls and you can imagine how much of your expensive energy is being compromised. Outlet insulation kits are insulating pad that goes inside the outlet plate.
Weather-strip Exterior Doors
This is often the first thing people think about when they think about winterizing their home. The weather-stripping that comes with a door eventually wears away and needs to be replaced.
Install Set-back Thermostat
A set-back thermostat lets you program your heating system to come up or go down at specific times of the day or night. The simplest ones allow you to set one time period for the furnace to drop the temperature when you go to bed and bring it back up in the morning. The more sophisticated models let you set temperatures for several times each day and up to a two week
There are of course a number of other winterizing or energy saving projects that would benefit your home. The single greatest loss of heat in a home is through the attic. Increasing the amount of attic insulation is the most energy efficient improvement you can make to your home. Not only will it make your home warmer in the winter, but, it will also help you stay cooler in the summer. How much insulation is enough? Here in the Northeast, it is recommended that attic insulation have an R-38 value. What does the R value represent? It’s the insulation’s resistance to heat flow. In other words, how much heat it prevents from escaping. The higher the R value, the greater the insulating power. Adding attic insulation is a cost effective way to make your home comfortable and an investment against rising energy costs.