7 Winter Improvement Tips To Save You Money This Winter…
7 Winter Improvement Tips To Save You Money This Winter
Winter Home Improvement
Get An Energy Audit
If you can afford to, hire a BPI certified energy rater to undertake an energy audit on your home.
They can test for energy losses and safety issues as well as generating a detailed report highlighting the best ways to resolve these.
If you can’t afford one, a simple infrared thermometer gun can identify all of the areas in which you may have leaks, draughts, or lack of insulation.
Air leaks account for 25-30% of an average energy bill.
This is a profound step which can make for reducing the amount of your monthly bill.
Seal Your Walls
Follow the mantra for green construction: “seal it tight, ventilate right”.
Geta handle on all the places where air penetrates through the wall and causes drafts.
A tube of high quality caulk goes a long way! Use your infrared thermometer….
Many holes will have been cut out of your walls to install your plugs and switches.
Reduce this leakage by using caulk to seal around the the area where the electric box meets the drywall, seal up all the little holes in the back of the box, including where the wires come through.
Probably best you turn the power off first!
Fill In Around The Light Fittings
Other culprits that contribute to air leaks are recessed light fittings in the ceiling.
Many are actually vented on purpose to keep from being overheated by the lightbulb.
Because warm air rises, an unsealed can light below a roof is problematic. Seal the can with caulk or aluminium tape to keep from the hot air escaping to the attic.
Do not put an incandescent bulb in the can! Use a LED recessed light, it’s dimmable, super-efficient and does not build up heat.
Look For Insulation Gaps
Anywhere you have something that penetrates the wall, there will be an air leak. This includes faucets, air vents and plumbing.
Seal with expanding foam but be careful to never seal next to a gas flue or you will have a fire hazard on your hands!
You can also check where the foundation meets the house and crawlspace and fill those little forgotten cracks — note areas where you see even the slightest bit of daylight passing through.
Spray-and-go won’t always work with those huge gaps, rolling out some insulation is better for this; like fibreglass.
Tune Up Your Heating
Before it gets really cold, it’s not a bad idea to tune up your furnace.
30% of an average home’s energy costs are related to heating, and this number can get really high if you have inefficiencies with your furnace or boiler system.
A tune-up is a good way to cut down on energy, prevent carbon monoxide leaks, and keep the air inside your home safe and healthy. It should be a top priority, especially given that your furnace or boiler system will be running at full blast for months to come — you don’t want it to give out right when you need it the most!
While the cost of a tune-up may at first glance seem like an unnecessary expenditure, keep in mind that small problems can easily turn into much larger, expensive replacements down the road. A new boiler is a substantial financial investment — regular maintenance postpones its replacement.
Check Your Windows
Windows that are unsuited for a home’s local climate can be a big contributor to inefficiency. Since we live in Manchester, investing in windows with insulated glass that’s double-paned or even triple-paned has the potential to transform the comfort of your home and your energy bill.
Use caulk to seal the window frame, and then setup cellular shades. These shades are easy to install and work by creating pockets of air to insulate windows from the cold. A good set of shades can double or triple a window’s performance making these a no brainier for winter comfort and energy savings.
Now it’s time to put some sexy technology to really save some energy. Programmable Thermostats.
Honeywell’s model not only lets you control the device from your iPhone or computer, but it tells you when there are significant temperature swings coming and even when the filter needs to be changed.
Put on another jumper!