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Winterizing A House

Do you find yourself punching holes in the walls when the heating bill comes in? This winter, do something to reduce your heating costs and make your house more energy efficient!

Furnace and Water Heater
Change your furnace filter once a month for a more energy efficient home. Have a professional come inspect your furnace. If your furnace is fairly old, you may want to consider replacing it for a more energy-efficient model.

Insulate your water heater with an energy-saving foam or fiberglass blanket. Wrap the blanket around and then fasten it with some water-proof duct tape. Keep your water heater set at 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

Winterizing Windows
Check for any air leaks in your windows, such as through panes of glass or around the sides. Caulking and weatherstripping your windows is easy for you to accomplish. Apply caulk in dry weather that is above 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7.2 degrees Celsius). This will prevent the caulk from swelling with moisture as well as ensuring that it adheres and sets properly. Weatherstripping is vinyl, metal, rubber, felt or foam that is applied between the window sash and the frame to seal the area from air leaks. Simply cut it to fit between the sash and frame and drill pilot holes; next, use a screwdriver to screw the weatherstripping in to place.

Doors
Take a look at your door; can you see light coming through the cracks or can you feel wind gushing in? Weatherstripping is your answer. It’s also relatively easy to winterize your doors.

The idea is to install weatherstripping along the sides and top of the door and a door sweep along the bottom of the door on the inside. If your door threshold (or saddle) is rotten, you’ll want to get a professional to replace it first.

Measure and cut the door sweep to fit along the bottom, drill pilot holes and then screw the sweep to the door.

Then open the door to measure for the weather stripping. Cut the weather stripping with a hacksaw. Drill the pilot holes and then use a screwdriver to attach the stripping. Install weather stripping on the sides and top of the doorframe.

Roof
An efficient roof is the best weatherproofing you can get—it will greatly reduce your heat costs. First, you need to check the roof from the outside with binoculars. Use a pair of binoculars and stand far away enough from your house to get a good view of the roof. Here’s what you should be checking for:

  • gutters should be fastened securely to the roof
  • check that the flashings, metal plates patching any interruptions in the roof such as pipes or chimneys, are intact
  • make sure roof is not missing any shingles, tiles, slates or nails
  • take a look at the caulking to make sure it doesn’t need to be re-touched
  • look for any warped or darker areas on the roof

If you’ve noticed any problems with the roof, it’s time to call a roofing professional to take a look and assess what needs to be done.

Walls
Check your electrical outlets for any spaces by taking off the outlet plate. You can buy foam that is fitted to the outlet that is easy to install.

You also need to check the outside walls of the house. Walk around the house with a caulk gun and caulk around pipes and spouts.

Basement
Be sure to caulk any drafts in your basement, such as around your dryer vent.

Taking some of the above tips on winterizing your home will save you lots of money on your heating bill! You’ll also save a lot of money by lowering your thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Drop it by ten degrees during the night or while you’re away. You can purchase and install an automated thermostat in order to wake up to a warm house.