Weatherizing your Home for the Upcoming Winter
By Devin Valdez
As we enter November, we’ve already witnessed the weather beginning to cool down.
With the chill, Homeowners will begin to trade in their open windows & a/c’s and turn to salvation from their heaters & fireplaces,all the while dreading the increasing PG&E bill to come.
As we are in the transition stage of cool to cold, now is the perfect time to consider weatherizing, or weather-proofing your home.
Weatherizing is when someone protects a building and it’s interior from grueling elements (mostly sunlight, rain and wind) by modifying the energy consumption in hopes of increasing energy efficiency.
In short, weatherizing will assist homeowners in keeping them comfortable inside their homes, away from outside weather conditions, and it will do so in a budget-saving manner.
If you feel you don’t have the money or knowledge on how to weatherize your home properly, don’t fret, the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) can help you!
WAP is a program that helps low-income families by lowering their energy bills by making their homes more efficient. If you qualify, the program will send professionals to your home and they will use top technology and testing to figure out how to boost your energy efficiency. For more information about WAP and to find out if they can help you, check out this link http://bit.ly/2gNKxCu.
If you do not qualify for WAP, read below for a list of cheap ways to weatherize your home- provided by Conservation Mart.
- Door Sweeps: Interesting Fact: 1/8-inch gaps around the front and back doors let in as much air into the home as a small window open halfway. To fix this issue, we recommend attaching door sweeps on exterior doors. It is one of the most affordable ways to weatherize your home, installation only takes a few minutes, and it effectively seals drafts. How do know you need it? Lay a sheet of paper on the door frame, and close the door on it; if the piece of paper comes out easily without tearing that means you need a door sweep. For added protection, in fact, we recommend you test all sides of your exterior doors and weatherstrip if they fail the test (Read below Door & Window Weatherproofing to learn about weatherstripping). Cost: Around $6.50
- Weatherstripping: In addition to door sweeps, weatherstripping is another affordable and easy way to weatherize your exterior doors as well as windows. How do you know you need weatherstripping? Just conduct the simple test mentioned in above Doors Sweeps Better still, if you can stick your finger nail into a gap between the window and window frame, you need weatherstripping! Why we recommend it:It seals out unwanted outside drafts, moisture and dust, thus preventing heat loss and mold, while improving air quality and keeping bugs out of your house. Cost: Around $5.89
- Sealing Switches & Outlets: Interesting Fact:Almost 2% to 5% air infiltration comes from outlets on outside walls! Surprisingly, sealing switches and outlets isn’t something most homeowners typically think about at least not in the context outside of baby-proofing. But sealing switches and outlets located on exterior walls prevent unwanted drafts and heat loss very well. After all, if we seal and insulate doors, windows, and attics, it only makes sense to insulate switches and outlets on wall too – especially, since you can insulate the entire house for less than a couple of dollars and prevent up to 5% of air infiltration in your home. You can’t beat that! Cost: Less than a $1
- Water Heater Tank Covers: Have you ever noticed how cold the garage or unfinished basement is in the winter? If your water heater tank is in the typical not well insulated garage, think of how much heat it is losing. Additionally, think of the added expenses of reheating cooled water. Solution:Cover your tank with a water heater blanket and reduce heat lose by 25%+. Benefits: Affordable water heater blankets can reduce water heating costs by 4% or more. If you have a tankless water heater, check out inexpensive pipe insulation foam which also provides additional savings. Cost: Around $16
- Plastic on Interior Storm Windows: Energy inefficient windows can cause your home to be cold and money-guzzling. To prevent drafts, we recommend you seal your windows with very inexpensive plastic for windows (also called window insulation kits). (NOTE: Before you put plastic on your windows, we recommend you weatherstrip your windows. See above Door & Window for Weatherproofing for weatherization tips.) Why we love plastic window seals?Because the $0.20-square-foot plastic, when properly installed, can save you just as money as a new storm window! So, try this before you spend lots of money. (Helpful Tips: When adhering the plastic to the self-adhesive tape, start in the center of the window frame and move to the corners; and when blow drying the plastic taut, start at the corners and move to the center of the window.) Cost: Around $7
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