Nashville, Tenn. – It’s officially cold outside! But that doesn’t mean your heating bill has to shoot through the roof in order to keep your house warm. Now is the time to winterize your home to help reduce energy costs during the cold weather months.
Sealing and insulating your home’s “envelope” – outer walls, ceiling, windows, doors and floors – is one of the most cost effective ways to improve energy efficiency in your home. According to estimates from Energy Star, you can reduce your yearly energy bills by up to 10% just by sealing and insulating.
Inspect your insulation
Part of that process is insulating your attic space to prevent energy loss during the winter. You often hear the amount of insulation quoted in inches of thickness, but the true measure of insulation is its final installed R-value. Most insulation has an R-value of about 3 to 4 per inch thickness. Blown-in insulation is always a good choice for an attic. Energy Star recommends an R ratings of 38-60 for an uninsulated attic or an R-38 if you already have an existing 3-4 inches of insulation.
Close the gaps
Keep the cold air out by sealing up any cracks on the outside of your home. Look for areas around windows and outdoor faucets that can let in a tremendous amount of cold air. Simply apply caulk wherever you see cracks, gaps or holes. Follow the same procedure inside the home. Look for cracks around windows, perimeter walls and around electrical outlets.
Get a heating tune up
There are many ways to maximize the efficiency of your current heating system. Get a professional to inspect your system every year to ensure that it is operating properly. Clean ducts and change filters on a regular basis. Another way to save is by using a programmable thermostat. This allows you to heat your home when you are there and let the temperature drop a little when you are out.
Wrap your water heater
Don’t let heat escape from your water heater. Insulate it with a water heater blanket and add insulation around water pipes.