There are a number of ways that winterizing your home can benefit you. A well-maintained home will hold heat better; homes with gaps around the windows and doors lose heat quickly, and they require more energy to stay at a comfortable temperature. That’s bad for the environment, but it’s pretty rough on the wallet, too. The Department of Energy states that between 50% and 75% of energy use is directed towards heating and cooling systems.
There are a variety of ways to make your home more energy efficient. Double-glazed windows can keep the house more temperate in both extremely cold and extremely hot weather; skylights and solar rooms can bring more natural light and heat into the home. However, these may take time, money and some expertise to follow through with. Environmentally conscious home-owners may not have the means to make these improvements on their homes, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other ways they can make their home more efficient.
If you have some money to spend, installing renewable energy generators such as solar panels are a great way to go. But if big budget expenditures aren’t an option, $100 or less can actually go a long way towards winterizing a home. The main focus is on reducing air flow around doors and windows, which can be handled in a variety of ways. Caulk or window foam can be used around windows and doors to fill in cracks and spaces that warm air could escape through. Sweep strips and door gaskets can reduce air circulation around doorways, while plastic film and weather stripping can do the same for windows. Even replacing the filter in the heating or air conditioning system can help – they should be replaced about every three months, because they clog quickly and become less efficient.
For less than $500, someone can come to do an energy audit on the home or clean and maintain the heating and air system. Chimney balloons can prevent cold air from entering through the chimney (or warm air from escaping that way). There are also ceiling fans that redirect warm air towards the floor, which help reduce heating costs.
Many home improvement opportunities are available for very little
This is the kind of environmental awareness that everyone should get behind. Rather than running up our thermostats and bills through the cold winter months, we should be looking for the simpler answer; keeping our homes well-maintained and putting the energy that we do use to good use.