As winter draws closer, you as a southern homeowner are likely wondering how to make your home more energy efficient. After all, if your home is more energy efficient, it will mean less of your hard-earned money goes to paying for energy costs. Below are some tips to get your home ready for the winter season:
According to EarthWorks Group, most American homes have enough leaks in their homes to amount to a nine-foot square hole in the wall. To find the leaks, wait for a breezy day, and then walk around your home with a candle or incense stick to see where there are drafts. The most common locations for air leaks are electrical outlets along with door and window frames. To fix leaks, use caulk or outlet gaskets. To seal leaks outside your home, use weather-resistant caulk or masonry sealer if dealing with brick or rock.
Have your air unit and ducts checked
The U.S. Department of Energy states that a home can lose an amazing 60 percent of its heated air before the air even reaches the vents if the ducts are not insulated well or connected properly. You can examine your own ducts if you desire.
Ducts are either located in the attic, basement or crawl space under you home. Fix any holes you see with metal-backed tape. However, if examining them yourself is not something you want to do, hire a professional company to do the job for you.
While they are checking your duct work, let them clean your heat and air unit. Anytime you can make your unit work better, it saves you money in energy costs. On the same note, also make sure your indoor air filters are changed on a regular basis. Typically, filters should be replaced around every three months.
Reverse your fans
Although it is often overlooked, reversing your fans’ direction from the summer mode will mean warm air is forced downward, making your home warmer. The fan is ready for winter when the blades are turning clockwise.
Wrap your pipes
A burst pipe is one of the biggest aggravations that occurs in the wintertime. To prevent this problem, wrap your home’s exterior pipes before winter sets in. This means insulating your outside faucets after shutting them off. There are easy-to-use Styrofoam covers made for this purpose that are very affordable.
Close your fireplace flue
Another easy way to keep warm air in and cold air out of your home is closing your fireplace flue when its not in use. Leaving the flue open will let cold air seep into your home and also encourages the escape of your warm air up the chimney.
Check insulation, and add more if necessary
Insulation provides a barrier from the outside air and your home’s interior. Before winter arrives, it is wise to check the condition of your insulation. The likelihood that your home is under-insulated is high as an estimated 46 million American homes are under-insulated according to a 2003 Harvard study.
You can purchase roll out insulation, which is the easiest to install, or you can rent a blower and blow your own insulation into your attic, which is a messy yet less expensive way to accomplish the job. Of course, you could also hire a professional to complete the task.
By implementing the above tips, you will ready your home for the coming chill and reduce your energy usage thus saving yourself some money over the course of the season.