Heating and cooling a home generally makes up around 48 percent of the entire utility bill. If you have come to dread your energy bills during the coldest months of the year, then take a look at these simple tips to make your home as efficient and insulated as possible this coming winter.
Trade Blinds for Curtains
Inefficient window treatments can be a major problem for those who are looking to insulate their homes. One option is to replace older windows with energy-efficient glass completely, but these insulation issues might be solved by simply exchanging your blinds for curtains. Thick fabric curtains with thermal lining will keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Close Unused Vents and Chimneys
Many homes have fireplaces that are used for nothing more than decoration, and this can result in families not realizing that all of their warm air is escaping through the chimney. Unless a fireplace is actively being used, the chimney doors should remain shut at all times. The same can be said for any vents that are not being used, such as those in empty rooms.
Look for Hidden Openings
You might not realize just how many small openings and cracks you have throughout your house until you carefully inspect the interior and exterior. Families might wonder why their home is not staying warm before taking a look at cracks under doors, mail slots, and openings in their basement that are all letting in cold air. Cracks around windows and vents can be filled in with caulking, while larger holes such as a mail slot should be covered with fabric and kept closed.
Inspect Your Attic’s Insulation
Every homeowner should take some time to learn about what kind of insulation they have in their attic, how often it must be replaced, and some common signs that damage has taken place. Pads and strips of insulation are popular due to their price and how easy they are to install, but they are not as efficient as blow-in insulation that will cover every microscopic crack and hole. Modern insulation must be replaced or adjusted every few years with inspections at least twice every year.
Winterize Your AC
Just because your AC system is turned off does not mean that it is not letting in cold air. Leaving outdoor AC units exposed throughout the winter will reduce their lifespan and even allow cold air into the ducts and vents. Products such as AC covers are affordable, easy to use, and could cut down on inefficiencies by quite a bit. When it is finally time to remove the cooler cover in the spring, homeowners should contact a local HVAC company to service these devices and make sure no damage has taken place.
Cover Bare Floors
Floors that are not correctly insulated can account for 10 percent of all heat loss. Some of the worst offenders include hardwood and tile floors that are notorious for capturing and holding cold air no matter what your thermostat is set at. Wherever possible, it is a good idea to cover bare floors with rugs and runners. Before laying down this fabric, you should inspect the floor for any cracks or holes that will need to be filled with silicone or caulking.
These few tips are a great place to start when it comes to making your home as efficient as possible. Families that continue to notice heating issues even after carrying out these steps should consider an energy audit. Energy audit technicians will inspect every part of your home and property to find out where heat is escaping and what can be done about it.