Baby, It’s Cold Outside
When it’s freezing cold outside, all you care about is getting inside where it’s warm and comfortable. But unless you are careful, you will be hot under the collar when the heating bill arrives. Fortunately, you don’t have to shiver all winter in order to keep your energy bills under control.
Instead, weather proofing your home allows you to remain toasty and comfortable inside while saving money on heating costs. Fortunately, many weather proofing strategies require very little effort. Even better, several weather proofing strategies are inexpensive or cost you nothing at all.
Protecting Your Pipes
Unprotected pipes are a calamity waiting to happen. Frozen pipes are not only inconvenient; they can crack and burst, resulting in damage to your home and expensive plumbing repairs. Wrap insulation around any pipes that are exposed to the elements. This could include pipes in your laundry room or in an attic or basement. In addition, invest in a water heater insulation blanket for your water heater. A water heater insulation blanket can reduce the heat lost from your water heater by between 25 percent and 40 percent, which translates into significant energy savings.
If you still have single-pane windows on your home, you are almost certainly losing heat through the window panes as well as through drafts around your windows. If storm windows are not in the budget, apply a layer of plastic sheeting to your windows during the winter months to minimize heat loss and drafts. However, you should ensure that you maintain proper ventilation inside your home to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
Check window openings and doorways for drafts. Install weather stripping around doorways and apply caulk around windows to prevent drafts. Place a door stopper on the outside of entranceway doors to eliminate drafts that seep in from the underside of the doorway. Weather stripping, door stops and caulk are all inexpensive and easy to install.
Insulate, insulate, insulate
Under insulation in basements or attics is a major cause of unnecessary heat loss and high heating bills in many homes. If this is the case in your home, adding a layer of insulation is a worthwhile investment. Green alternatives to commercial insulation for attic insulation that are formaldehyde free include shredded old denim, wool and newspapers to However, if you opt for greener attic insulation materials, ensure that there are no open flames anywhere near your improvised insulation to minimize the possibility of fires.
While adding a layer of insulation in your attic is a job that you can tackle yourself, adding insulation to a basement is strictly a job for professionals. This is because of the possibility of mold, seepage and leakage in your basement. Radon, which is a leading cause of lung cancer, is also linked to excess moisture in the basement. If inadequate basement insulation is a cause of energy loss in your home, consult with a basement waterproofing expert to have any needed work done before calling on the services of an insulation installer.
Lily Stopford lives in northern-most Alaska. She likes to share what she has learned about cold climate living by blogging online. Visit the Energy Providers in Texas link for more solutions.