About four years ago, I made a resolution that I would never make a New Year’s resolution again (it’s the only one I’ve ever stuck to!). However, my house could use a little sprucing up so I think I can make an exception and resolve to do a little home maintenance this year. The chill of winter is here and now is the perfect time to assess your home's heating situation. A little caulking here and a little insulation there can improve your home’s energy efficiency and save you some money.
Hire an energy auditor
If you’ve never had a professional energy auditor inspect your home, now is the time. For a few hundred dollars, an auditor will uncover problem spots of energy waste, such as poorly insulated areas and air leaks. An experienced eye can save you precious time and money so your home can become an energy efficient machine in no time.
Poor insulation is a year-round problem, but is especially costly during the winter months when your warm air seeps out of your home. Not enough insulation equals spending more money on gas and electricity by trying to keep your home warm. Areas which are often in need of additional insulation include exterior exposed exterior piping and your hot water tank. Wrap these in an insulated sleeves and blankets for an easy fix or hire a professional to insulate them permanently.
Stop door and window air leaks
Hundreds of dollars in heat could be escaping through poorly sealed doors and windows. If you don’t want to pay for an energy auditor to inspect your house, you can perform your own audit by checking all doors and windows for air leaks. Seal any air leaks you find with caulking. It’s a good idea to install weather-stripping along improperly sealed edges and a door sweep for extra insulation. Eco-friendly window shades are another way to keep the heat in and cold air out. For a more permanent solution, consider installing storm windows and doors which will block out even more winter conditions.
We all know that heat rises and a damaged roof could mean your heat is rising right out of your home. Avoid this by replacing missing or damaged shingles and inspecting areas around chimneys and other roof protrusions as air leaks are often found around these areas. Clear any debris which has collected in your gutters and downspouts to avoid additional problems.