With the arrival of autumn, the temperatures are already cooling and it is time to prepare our homes for the colder temperatures to come. From easy and cheap projects to those, requiring a professional it is time to take action so one may stay warm and cozy this winter.
There are things that are free or inexpensive that homeowners can usually do themselves to make the home more energy efficient. Something everyone can do, health permitting, is to turn down the thermostat. Setting the thermostat at 68 degrees during the day, or lower when people are not at home, will save significantly in energy costs. Encourage people to put on a sweater if it seems a bit chilly when they get home from work or school. At night, add a warm comforter to beds if needed.
Giving the heater some attention will also save money. Something often overlooked by homeowners is to clean or replace furnace filters. Dirty furnace filters restrict airflow and increase energy costs. For greater energy efficiency from the heating unit, schedule a furnace tune-up with a professional. They will clean and lubricate the entire unit. The homeowner will see a noticeable reduction in heating costs.
One of the most effective actions a person may take to create a highly energy-efficient environment is to apply spray-in fiberglass insulation. Applied in attics, basements, and between walls, this application will save up to 20 percent in energy costs. Spray-in fiberglass insulation adds strength to structures, creates an air and moisture barrier, and protects from dangerous molds, pollutants and allergens. This energy-saving step is more costly than some others are and usually requires professional application, but it is permanent and significantly more effective than traditional insulation.
Caulking and weather stripping are also cost-saving measures most homeowners are capable of doing. Sealing up air leaks is vitally important in creating an energy-efficient home. The homeowner should inspect for cracks or gaps around window molding and doorjambs. One should also inspect for gaps that may exist where pipes, vents, or electrical conduit enters the home. Once those areas are identified, one simply applies caulk to the areas, sealing up the gaps. If one has never operated a caulking gun, it is quite simple, and any hardware store can supply what one needs. Next, exterior doors must be made tight with weather stripping. Made of foam, rubber, vinyl or metal this is typically something a homeowner can do as it typically involves just cutting the material to length and applying it. Some weather stripping for doors in self-adhering and some is stapled in place.