Winterize Your Home And Save Money On Energy Costs

Dated: December 6 2019

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Winterize Your Home and Save Money on Energy Costs

Winter is coming and so are the energy bills. The utility companies are not known for maintaining stable pricing schemes, and bills can skyrocket even when the cold weather is mild. Don't rely on the utility companies to keep energy prices predictable as their raw materials can and do fluctuate with market conditions. Instead, take things into your own hands and seal your home against intrusion from cold temperatures and the wind that could send the cold air into your home and suck out the warmth.

The internet is full of advice that suggests many ideas such as sealing windows with peel-and-seal caulk, applying spray foam insulation, and using a plastic barrier across the windows. These are all good ideas, but if the window has a low R-value, these suggestions won't go far. And chances are good that your window has a low R-value as glass has very poor insulating properties, even with double panes. However, it's also an excellent material for letting light through, which is why we use it.

Doors do a better job of insulating against air coming through, but if the house has settled and put the doors out of square alignment, gaps are created that let air flow through. It's also something that needs to be addressed if you want to keep the warm air inside of your home.

Start by carefully going around your windows and doors with a flame in the form of a candle or lighter. You'll see where the air is leaking in when the flame flickers as you slowly move it around. Mark the place the air is coming in with a piece of tape so you can come back to it later. Once you've identified the air leaks, it's time to get out the sealing materials.

Multiple options for sealing windows are on the market, including heavy curtains, foam sealer, caulk in the form of semi-permanent and temporary, plastic sheeting that seals with the use of a hair dryer, and Styrofoam or insulation board cut to the size of the window. Caulk and heavy curtains allow you to access the window so you can let light through as you desire throughout the day. Temporary plastic sheeting will block your access to the window, and Styrofoam/insulation board is going to block the light that comes through.

Sealing a door can be more difficult but not impossible. Plastic sheeting works well on doors that aren't going to be used during the winter, such as French or sliding glass doors. Adhesive foam strips fill gaps and compress when the door is shut to create a seal. Door sweeps, temporary or permanent, block air coming in from the bottom of the door and can be used on the non-hinge sides to seal wide gaps.

Getting aggressive with blocking drafts and sealing windows can go a long way toward saving money on your energy bills this winter. A few hours of work today can save you from the long winter months of cold.

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Avo Derbalian

Avo Derbalian became Owner/Salesperson of a real estate company in early 2016 after being a Realtor® for a year and a half, providing services all over Bergen County and Passaic County. Since then, ....

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