It’s never too early to start getting ready for the chill of fall and winter. The bitter cold of the season can strike as early as October, and rarely are we prepared for temperatures suddenly falling and energy bills suddenly rising.
Heating and cooling is typically the largest energy expense of a home, amounting to 48% of energy use. Considering the amount of heating one needs to keep a home comfortable in the winter, failing to prepare for extreme temperatures may result in sky high energy bills while still shivering from the cold.
Want to know more about how to keep your home warm this winter? Read on for our winterization tips.
How can I utilize home insulation?
Insulation should be your first line of defense against cold temperatures. Heat typically travels from the warmest area to the coolest, meaning that the heat in your home will naturally try to go to areas that do not hold in heat well. This is where insulation comes in — by providing a barrier, you can keep more of the heat in your home, reducing the need to raise the thermostat.
New homes will usually be properly insulated due to local building codes, though insulation may need to be replaced after a few years. Most homes will have insulation in the attic, exterior walls, between garage and living space and, in some cases, the foundation. Older homes may have little to no insulation, which can require immediate action.
These are some of the most commons forms of insulation you may use or add to your home:
- Attic insulation usually consists of loose-fill insulation that fills the space in an unfinished attic. Since heat travels upward, attic insulation can prevent heat from escaping this way.
- Exterior wall insulation stops heat from escaping through your walls. This is often a need for older homes that were not originally built with it.
- Pipe insulation prevents costly issues like burst pipes or water damage. It can also help save money for homes that use a lot of water or for homes that require an expensive fuel to heat their water.
How else can I winterize my home?
Preparing for the winter goes beyond insulating your home. While important, there are several other measures you can take to get ready for the cold:
- Use a programmable thermostat. Does your home really need to be toasty when you aren’t there? Programmable thermostats help out by lowering the temperature while you are gone and raising it when you get home, minimizing your energy spending.
- Seal any cracks. If you were to add up the length of all of the cracks on the exterior of a typical home it would be the same as having a 3 by 3 window open all of the time. Using caulk to seal cracks by window seals and baseboards will ensure your heat is staying inside at all times.
- Let your faucets trickle. If your pipes aren’t insulated yet, let your faucets trickle during cold temperatures. Keeping water running through your pipes decreases your chance of a burst pipe or having your pipes freeze, leaving you without water until they thaw.
Do you need help winterizing your home?
Contact Elite Renovations. Our team of contractors can assist you with your winter home repair and plumbing needs.