• Getting Your Home Ready for Winter

    Posted by   |  September 18, 2015
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    3145968830_55981b2f04_oWe know, you’re probably dreading winter and savoring these last days of gorgeous summer weather. Even so, it’s time to start thinking about getting your home ready for cooler temperatures. If your house seems to get too cold, too easily during the winter, you may want to upgrade your insulation. Many older houses lack the proper insulation needed to keep the cost of heating and cooling down, and even newer houses may not have enough material to stop them from being a drain on energy resources.

    That’s why we’re digging deeper on this part of last week’s tip about how to conduct a do-it-yourself home energy audit. Though the task may seem daunting, there are many cheap and easy ways to go about adding or replacing insulation. With just a little research and planning, you can bring your home up-to-date and reduce heating and cooling bills up to 50%!

    Go For the Low-Hanging Fruit First – Windows and Doors

    Windows and doors are the most common places for heat to escape but also some of the easiest to fix. Consider adding a simple draft guard on any doors that don’t have a tight seal. Thermal curtains can go a long way toward keeping your house warm at night and there are also a number of great options for easy window insulation kits that you can install yourself.

    Checking Your Insulation

    In order to upgrade your insulation, you’ll need to know what type you have, and how thick it is. To that end, find the areas in your house next to unheated spaces, such as an attic or basement. Inspect the exterior walls by removing the covers of electrical outlets and pulling out pieces of the insulation to judge its type and depth. Make sure to turn off the power to the outlet before removing it.

    What To Get

    Once you’ve determined that you need to further insulate your home, check to see what kind best suits your needs There are several different types of insulation, each better suited for certain circumstances. Read more about them on energy.gov. From there, you can determine the projected cost of this endeavor by consulting the Home Energy Saver Calculator.

    Installing The Insulation

    You’ll need to find the proper space to stow the new material. For this, the Department of Energy has suggestions. An attic often provides a good starting point, as its relative simplicity makes it easy to forgo a professional contractor. Adding insulation to walls may prove more difficult, and will likely require assistance from a contractor. Take care to remove outdated insulation before adding the new material.

    Making an Impact

    Replacing or adding insulation can help keep out air from the outside. This will stop your household heating and cooling systems from working overtime to compensate for the incoming temperatures. By keeping your insulation up-to-date, you can help conserve resources and control your expenses.

    By Brendan Szendro

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