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Winterizing Your Home

When winter arrives, it does so with a vengeance. It replaces cool autumn air with cold, frigid temperatures that makes the body crave for heat, whether naturally produced by the sun or by artificial means such as heating devices that use natural gas, heating oil, or other heat producing resources.

Many people struggle during the winter months to keep their homes warm. With the high cost of fossil fuels, it is no wonder that there is concern every winter about how children, the elderly, the homeless, and the sick will survive when the cold of winter sets in and becomes unbearable.

As a homeowner, or renter, the best way to save money on heating your home or apartment is to insulate and make the necessary repairs and adjustment that will keep the heat in and the cold air out before the weather turns for the worse.

  • The costs to insulate your home will prove to be a little more inexpensive when you calculate the savings on monthly gas and electricity bills.

The great thing about winter proofing your home is that you can do most of the upgrades yourself. You can start by calking around windows and doors with a silicone based sealant that provide air tight seals that prevent cold air from coming into your home.

  • Calking actually has benefits for summer months, too, by preventing cool air from escaping your home when the weather gets hot, thereby saving you money on cooling costs.

Tune up your heating system. Change filters and have your system checked for carbon monoxide and other indoor health hazards. Install a carbon monoxide alarm to increase safety for you and your family.

Check your duct system for air leaks. A study by the U. S. Department of Energy found that cracks and gaps in the duct systems in many homes are much more significant than in energy loss than leaks around windows and doors.

  • The loss from leaks in many cases added up to be at least 30 to 40 percent of energy output from furnaces and air conditioning units.

If your furnace and/or heat pump is more than ten years old, they may show signs of wear and tear, and if they do, you should replace them. A new system is more dependable, safer, and it will pay for itself through energy savings in years to come.

In most homes, the biggest energy loser is the hot water heater, especially if it on the outside or in the basement. Water heaters use almost a third of the energy in most homes. You can stop much of the energy loss by insulating your hot water heater which can be done by wrapping it with a water heater blanket.

Another way to save energy in your home is by installing an electronic thermostat. Electronic thermostats save energy by regulating the amount of heat it takes to warm a home or an apartment by turning the heat on only when the the temperature drops below a certain setting that you chose for the level of comfort that you want for your home.

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