How to Weatherize Your Home to Conserve Energy and Save Money
Nobody says no to extra money in their wallet. Therefore, most people do their part to preserve the environment. If you have yet to find ways to weatherize your home, you’re not taking advantage of opportunities to conserve energy and save money. There are a few easy ways to weatherize your home to conserve energy and save money.
There are certainly some up-front costs associated with weatherizing your home. There are many benefits you’ll gain over time. These include lower utility bills, a more comfortable home interior, and a reduced carbon footprint. They will more than make up for the initial hassle and expense. Here are just a few ways to weatherize your home.
Home Energy Audit
The place to begin is with a home energy audit, especially if you’ve never had one before. A technician will come to your home to for inspection. Additionally, they run a series of tests to find areas in your home for wasted energy. This includes points where outside air is getting in. For example, this is around windows, doors, vents, pipes, and seams.
A home energy auditor is not qualified to make repairs, only to deliver a report. However, with this report in hand, you can take steps to address energy waste in your structure.
One of the easiest and least expensive ways to reduce leakage between your home interior and the outside is by adding weather-stripping around door frames and window ledges. There are different types at your local hardware store for as little as a few dollars and install it yourself.
You may also want to pick up some caulk, foam, or other types of sealant. Use these around vents, pipes, and seams as a way to reduce outside air intrusion, which causes drafts and increases your energy bills.
Even with weather stripping, outside air may seep in under the doors in your home. Therefore, door sweeps that rest along the bottom edge of the door help reduce drafts at very little cost.
During the warmer months, you likely have screens on your windows and doors so you can open them to get fresh air and allow for a breeze inside, without letting insects in. Though, these will do little to protect your home from cold air that intrudes during the winter.
Instead, replace them with storm windows and doors. When properly installed, these form a seal that increases insulation around windows and doors, which are prime spots for energy waste.
If your home didn’t come with storm windows, you’ll have to pay to have them made anyway. Therefore, you may just want to go the extra mile and upgrade from single-paned to double or even triple-paned options.
The design of such products is to increase insulation and cut down condensation that often occurs with single panes of glass. Both feats accomplish a layer of trapped gas that separates the inside and outside panes. They offer a buffer between areas of cold and hot air.
This is an expensive undertaking, but ultimately, it is profitable. If your home energy audit shows that your insulation has deteriorated or is sub-par in some way, you can add batting or fill to walls or your attic space. This is a way to decrease the amount of bought air escaping through the very walls. In turn, this wastes energy and jacks up utility bills.
In older homes, you can even pull drywall from exterior walls. Then install modern foam insulation to seal any leaks, as well as insulate. Your heating and cooling costs will decrease significantly. As a result, you pay more for the initial expense over time.
Technically, this doesn’t fall under weatherization. However, installing a programmable thermostat goes hand-in-hand with conserving energy when you weatherize your home. According to the Department of Energy, setting your thermostat to no higher than 68 degrees (F) in the winter and no lower than 78 degrees (F) in the summer is ideal.
Additionally, roll back the temperature during times you’re not home or when your family is sleeping. Rolling back the temperature by up to 10 degrees. Doing so during the eight hours a day family members are at work and school reduces your energy bill by as much as 10–15%. When paired with home weatherization efforts, this results in significant savings and energy conservation.
Originally published at www.americanpowerandgas.com on December 3, 2016.