Tough economic conditions, rising oil and gas prices and high unemployment rates are forcing people throughout the Northern hemisphere to find ways to conserve energy during the winter heating season.
Lowering your thermostat and dressing in layers topped with a sweater are just two of the easy things people can do to keep warm during the coming winter that will help save money on home heating costs. If you are serious about conserving energy and banking some extra cash this winter, take a serious look around you house. Begin with an exam of your doors and windows.
Make sure windows and doors have an air tight seal to keep out the winter wind and cold. If you suspect there are gaps around your window panes or doors, hold a burning candle along the edges of your windows on a windy day. If the flame flickers, you will need to apply a bead of caulk along the exterior edge of the widows to seal up gaps where the cold air can sneak into your home. Doors can be made more air tight with the installation of new weather stripping. If you still suspect air is entering your home through a gap at the bottom of the door, the addition of a draft dodger or a rolled up blanket pushed against the door can save you money by keeping the wind at bay.
Caulking your windows will certainly help keep heating costs down. If you want to maximize your energy savings, you can bank even more money by installing a sheet of tight fitting plastic over your windows and sliding glass doors. Make sure there is no moisture clinging to the glass or beading up on the wooden window sill. If water is present between the window and the plastic the constant freezing and thawing throughout a long winter can cause wooden sills and frames to begin showing signs of wood rot.
Don’t over look your furnace when you are searching for ways to lower your heating cost while keeping your home comfortable. Www.TrueValue.com reminds homeowners to have their heating plant, commonly known as a furnace, serviced before the heating season gets into full swing.
Removing soot from the unit, changing filters and removing dust from switches will preserve the life of your furnace and make it burn more efficiently. When your furnace burns more efficiently, you get more heat from the oil and natural gas that you buy.
Shoring up drafts around attic doors and vents will keep more of your heat in the main part of your home and keep less heat from rising into unused portions of your home. Besides helping cut energy costs and keeping your living space warmer, sealing the attic can have a hidden benefit.
‘If the temperature of your attic is low, it will keep the ice and snow on your roof from melting during the day and refreezing at night when the sun goes down and temperatures drop. The constant thawing and freezing from snow on the roof can create a phenomenon known as ice dams. This occurs when melting water runs into the gutters and re-freezes, blocking the gutters.
Repeated thawing and freezing will eventually cause the melting water to find another path to the ground, usually through window casings, ceilings and walls. Needless to say, this creates an emergency situation that can lead to extensive damage to your home’s interior..
Winterizing your home does not have to cost an exorbitant amount of money, but the savings on energy costs will add up if you take the time to prepare for the winter heating season.