Monday, December 31, 2012

Keeping Your Home Warmer

It seems like the weather has finally turned cold. As it get's colder, staying warm can become difficult and expensive. Who want's that, right? Making your home a warmer place doesn't have to be a long or costly experience, it's something you can do over a long weekend, and it's worth it.

Did you know that almost half of a home's utility bill is spent on heating and cooling? Insuring that your home is properly insulated will help save you money during the winter—and keep you warmer—and during the summer, while keeping you cooler. When working to make your home a warmer and more energy efficient place, consider these simple do-it-yourself tips.

Find the Problem Areas
Most old homes have little to no insulation in spaces like the attic. Large open spaces let warm air out and cold air in, you're heating system often has to work twice as hard to make up the difference. The first step in insulating your home is deciding what areas need insulating. Spend some time walking around your home, take a look at the areas that are usually the coldest and try and figure out why they're generally so cold. Maybe there's a draft coming from a crack in the door? Maybe they sit below the attic? Figuring out how the heat gets out well help you stop the cold from getting in.

Find the Right Kind of Insulation

There are several different kinds of insulation, each with special qualities that work better with specific areas of your home. An audit from a qualified home energy professional can help you make the right choice in insulation materials. If you're looking for a cheaper option, you can always find a few good tips at stores like Home Depot or Lowe's Home Improvement. Keep in mind, these aren't licensed professionals, but they can point you in the right direction.

Seal Up

Seal up your windows and doors and your vents and ducts. Sealing windows and doors is the easiest way to begin insulating your house. Many homes, especially older homes, don't have properly sealed windows or doors. There are cheaper options, like plastic covers, or more long-term alternatives like energy star rated thermal replacements.
Vents and ducts are the same. An average of 20% of heat moving through the vent and duct system of the average home is lost due to leaks and sub-sealed connections. Sealing up those leaks can prevent heat from escaping.

If you're looking for a way to keep your home warmer, or even just to make it more energy efficient, consider improving your in-home insulation. These simple steps are a great place to start when beginning the improvement of your home's energy efficiency.