Monday, October 25, 2010

Now's the time to start weather-proofing your home

It's that time of year...time to do a little upkeep on your home to make it more efficient through those cold winter months.  A well-sealed, well-insulated home is an energy-efficient home. Using the right energy saving products to insulate your attic and seal gaps and cracks in your home will help reduce your home heating and cooling costs by up to $220 a year. Here are some energy saving ideas to help you save money year-round.

  1. Insulate your attic.  Up to 65% of homes in the United States are under-insulated.  Adding insulation or making sure your coverage is adequate will cut drafts and energy well as your monthly heating and cooling bills.
  2. Stock up on sealants and caulk.  Even with home insulation, between 30% and 50% of the energy used in most homes is eaten up by energy lost through cracks, holes and gaps. The airflow seeping through the attic and basement, windows, doorframes, plumbing lines, vents and electrical outlets is equivalent to a 4-foot hole in your exterior wall. Use sealant and caulk to stop those leaks—consider them your insulation's working partners.
  3. Weatherize your windows.  If you can afford to replace older ones with new ENERGY STAR-qualified models, it's a worthwhile investment. If not, weatherizing your existing single- or double-hung windows with weather-stripping, sealant and caulk is the next best thing. Cutting airflow improves your home energy efficiency.
  4. Update your entry door.  Stylish and maintenance-free ENERGY STAR-qualified fiberglass exterior doors boast 5 times the insulating value of older wooden doors. Installing a new door adds up to major energy savings year-round.  For even more insulation and security, pair a storm door with your existing wooden or new fiberglass exterior entry door. It can reduce energy loss by as much as 50%.



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