In this post you will learn …
- How to seal leaks to prevent heat from escaping
- Outside maintenance, easy replacements, and system checks
- When to improve or replace windows and doors
The cool air and comfort of autumn is quickly being erased with winter weather. The cold weather means waking up for work every morning and leaving your car running for ten minutes on high heat before driving. These temperatures are also hard on the home and can damage the budget with high heating costs. But, there are ways to prevent the harsh winter blasts. These steps take some time, but after they are completed you will see amazing result and your home will become more energy efficient.
Sealing Leaks to Prevent Heat Escaping
One of the biggest culprits of high energy costs is a result of not sealing your home properly. In these brutal winter months, you want all of that comforting warm air to stay inside your house. If not, it will cost more to heat your house and it will make it tough on your heating unit.
Areas that let out the most air are windows, doors, and locations where the interior of your home meets the exterior. For example, an air conditioner window unit is a prime candidate to let out heat if not sealed properly. Also, electrical wires and plumbing pipes often have gaps that let energy seep through.
Become a gap detector and find and seal these places. Once you find them, replace what has to be replaced. If wood is rotten, re-frame. Check around fixtures and add fiberglass insulation where needed. Spray foam in cracks and add aluminum flashing around flues. Consider getting a home energy inspection. This can require some labor, or some hiring of labor, but the benefits will be noticed immediately.
Outside Maintenance, Easy Replacements, and System Checks
Your home is unique but there are some common things that everybody can do to increase energy efficiency and reduce heating costs. Winterizing your home does not have to be difficult.
Remember to replace the filters in your heating unit every month to increase its efficiency and guarantee its longevity. Clean out your rain gutters so water flows easily to prevent icicles from forming. If you have ceiling fans in your home, reverse the rotation to clockwise so they push the warm air down to the floor. You can also bleed your valves on your hot water radiators and flush out any pipes that may freeze in the winter.
Improving or Replacing Windows and Doors
If your windows and doors are properly sealed, your energy efficiency will be increased and considerably and you will keep your warm air inside. Windows and doors may just need maintenance to function properly in the winter months. Sometimes you may have to caulk the seams again. To replace old caulk, simply scrape it off and run another thin bead over the cracks. Also, check to see if the weather stripping is not chipped away and allowing heat to escape; replace if necessary.
For extra efficiency, add insulation film to your windows. This prevents over 55% of heat from escaping your home and is widely available. Insulation film comes in many varieties and works with single and double pane windows. You can get glare reducing film, static cling or privacy film. It depends on your specific window set and your personal preference.
Adding draft guards under your doors is also an effective method to increase your home’s energy efficiency. You can find these in any hardware store. For a temporary fix, roll up a towel and place it at the bottom of your door.
However, if your windows and doors are beyond repair then it is time to replace them. Replace screen doors with storm doors and choose double pane windows for maximum energy efficiency. You want a reliable strong door to withstand the elements. The best doors to purchase have multiple layers which are insulated already. They are the gate keepers of your home and bear the brunt of the brutal weather.
The best windows to purchase to prevent leaks have weather stripping, are double or triple-paned, extra durable and easy to work with. Replacing your old windows and doors may be a large undertaking but there is nothing better to prevent air leakage and save costs on energy. When the winter storms emerge, you will be thankful for the extra protection and increased comfort new windows and doors provide.
Contact Stanek Windows to learn more about our window and door replacement options and to schedule a free in-home estimate today.
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