Use These Home Weather Proofing Ideas to Help Cut Your Energy Costs
Whether it's the coldest winter night or the hottest summer day, the weather outside impacts your home's indoor environment.
That may not sound like a huge deal — but what we're really talking about is your energy bill. Without good home weather proofing, you could be paying for a lot more than you actually need.
Thankfully, there are simple measures you can take and easy repairs you can make to save money on heating and cooling your home. Start cutting energy costs and make your home more efficient with these tips.
Treat Your Windows
Each winter, check that your storm windows work properly. Don't have storm windows? Install them to save on heating costs.
Storm windows add an extra barrier against the frigid winter air, keeping your home nice and insulated. If such a big investment in your home doesn't work for you right now, you can use a shorter-term solution. Adding an insulating plastic covering to the inside of your windows helps block drafts and keeps warm air from leaking out. Window finishings, such as heavy curtains and blinds, can also help your home retain warm air during the winter.
Seal Air Leaks
According to Energy.gov, using weather stripping to seal air leaks can save you big bucks on heating and cooling bills. All you need is a proper home weather proofing material for your windows and doors, plus a little elbow grease. You can use felt, open-cell foams, vinyl or metals. Felt and open-cell foams are inexpensive and easy to install. But they're susceptible to damage when they get wet and are inefficient at completely blocking airflow.
A slightly more expensive option is vinyl, which resists moisture and lasts longer. You can also use metals like bronze, copper, stainless steel or aluminum to stop air leaks. Metal weather stripping is long-lasting and many find it aesthetically pleasing.
Insulation keeps your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Check your attic, basement, crawl space and floors for appropriate insulation levels. Adding insulation can be a DIY project, but always ask an expert if you feel uncertain or unsure.
Beyond these spaces, make sure to seal cracks around all exterior doors. Look for small holes and cracks in baseboards and ceilings, too. These can easily be repaired by caulking.
Don't forget to check the spaces around outlets, light switches and air ducts. Remember, air escapes through even the smallest openings.
Check Your Roof
Once you take care of internal home weather proofing tasks, take a look at your house's exterior — starting with the roof.
Check for damaged, missing or loose shingles. Being proactive about roof maintenance can help avoid leaks. Leaks that go unnoticed can drastically increase a home's energy costs.
Inspect Your Furnace
The more efficiently your furnace runs, the more you can enjoy a warm, cozy home without going over budget to cover big energy bills.
Before winter hits and you crank it up again, look over your furnace and turn it on for a test run. Does it make any unusual sounds? It may be time for a service or repair.
Don't forget to clean and replace filters in order to maintain good indoor air quality and efficiency. Air filters typically need to be changed every few months, but check yours for specific instructions.
By following these tips for better home weather proofing, you can get through all seasons — hot and cold — without busting your budget on utility bills.