Home Winterizing, Part Two
Winterize A/C Units
Remove window a/c units to prevent drafts, or at least cover them well to reduce drafts. Drain all hoses and air conditioner pipes to prevent damage from freezing.
Install Storm Windows and Doors
If your windows and doors have them, take the time to install storm doors and windows. Doing so increases the energy efficiency of doors and windows by up to 45%. Storm doors and windows are designed to reduce air flow and eliminate drafts, but they only work if they're in place when the temperatures drop.
Put Up the Plastic
If your home has drafty windows (you can tell by holding some burning incense around a window on a windy day or having somebody outside with a hair dryer blow air onto the window) it's a good idea to block those drafts. Installing plastic window insulation on drafty windows is a quick and easy way to drastically improve their energy-efficiency. Plastic window film is inexpensive, easy to install, and if installed properly is nearly invisible. Learn more about window plastic film HERE.
Install Weather Stripping and Caulk
Along the lines of window insulating film, it's important to seal air drafts and leaks around doors and windows by installing caulking and weatherstripping. These inexpensive fixes can quickly and easily seal off unwanted air leakage, contributing significantly to a more comfortable, efficient living environment.
Since these small leaks can waste up to 30% of a home's energy usage according to the U.S. Dept. of Energy, plugging them is a good idea. Luckily, it's one of the easiest fixes around.
This isn't really a home improvement, but one super easy way to save energy during the colder months is to turn the thermostat down and add some warmer layers of clothing. A sweater can add about 4 degrees of added warmth to the body, allowing you to lower your thermostat an equal amount. Each degree you turn down can save up to 3% on your energy bills. You can use that money to buy some new sweaters!
Sealing Air Ducts
Tiny leaks in air ductwork can lead to huge energy loss. Hire a professional to inspect your home's ductwork, and seal off any leaks. Doing so can save $140 a year (according to the American Solar Energy Society.)
If Things Need Replacing
If you determine that your furnace or windows are too old, too worn out, or just plain broken down, and can't be repaired inexpensively, it may be time to upgrade. Newer appliances and windows are much more energy-efficient, but are typically more expensive. Do your homework to find out whether or not it's time to replace these items; if it is time, make sure you invest in Energy Star-certified for the most efficiency possible.
Learn more about Energy-Efficient Windows HERE.
To learn more about Bryant Energy-Efficient Furnace systems, click HERE.
By doing a little bit of work now, you can enjoy a warm, cozy home all winter long, and lower energy bills, too!
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