It only takes one very cold winter for homeowners to reconsider the insulation in their home or the lack thereof. There is a reason that President Obama refers to insulation as “sexy”. Sufficient insulation helps keep the air that you pay to heat inside. Making sure your home is well sealed also helps to keep the cold air outside.
Home energy efficiency does not need to be expensive. Investing a small amount of effort and time helps to avoid unnecessary energy consumption. This is not only better for the pocketbook, but for the environment as well. There are a few simple tricks that can go a long way in keeping the cold air out, the warm air in, and the electric bill down. You can save on your energy costs without making investments that break the bank.
One simple suggestion is that of making sure that all of the air conditioning vents in the ceiling of your home are closed, during winter months. When left open as temperatures begin to drop, heat is allowed to escape. Take a few minutes to locate and close these vents until they need to be reopened in spring or when the weather begins to warm up.
Along the same lines of closing vents is the common sense, but often overlooked, reminder to make sure that all of your windows are not only securely closed but also locked. Even expensive windows are not energy-efficient unless they are tightly sealed. Remembering to lock your windows helps to ensure that they are closed properly thus guaranteeing the best and tightest seal possible.
If you hear crackling noises in the home, consider the possibility that air needs to be purged from your hot water pipe systems at the farthest point in the home from the boiler. Removing the air from the lines will allow the water to conduct heat in a more efficient manner. Efficiency is the name of the game when it comes to energy conservation and savings on your utility bill.
The over-ventilation of attics is another common area of concern with respect to heat loss from the home during winter. If you have a peak or ridge vent along the highest point of your roof, the installer should have advised you to block off your old gable vents located on the sides of your attic walls. If given the chance, Mother Nature will come in and dance in your attic as she sucks the heat from your home. Keep in mind that most heat energy loss begins at the top of the house as well as the bottom. Investigating and rectifying these common culprits is key to maintaining an energy efficient home.
Receptacles throughout the home are wonderful little areas that allow heat to escape and the frigid air to enter an otherwise warm room. Properly sealing these receptacles isn’t expensive or difficult, and yet this simple task can net great results.
The first step is to remove the screws from the plate cover and caulk around the junction box where it meets the sheet rock. Place the foam pad that correlates to the exact type of receptacle and then caulk around the inside of the cover plate. Replace plate and screws. Wipe off any excess caulk from around the cover’s edge.
One final tip to encourage a perfect seal on your outlet covers is the inexpensive and simple addition of child safety plugs. This easy solution prevents the feeling of cool air blowing into your home on those windy winter days.
Using an infrared thermal image camera, most homes are found to have first floor baseboard mouldings that contribute to heat loss. By clear caulking these moldings around the entire exterior wall areas, the cold air from the basement or crawlspace is kept from entering the home and is prevented. Using this military level technology in the home allows us to find inexpensive, simple, and effective ways to conserve energy and keep the heat inside the home where it belongs.
Doctor Energy Smart® is the leader in reinventing the home environment in an effort to keep your utility bills from being higher than they need to be. For more information, be sure to follow our blog or contact us with your questions.