With cold weather moving in, your energy bills may be at the forefront of your mind. All of those leaking single paned windows and doors may be costing you hundreds of dollars annually in lost heat as it escapes through cracks, crevices, and thin layers of poorly insulated glass. So what can you do to keep those dollars from figuratively flying out the window? Here are a few tips to get your money back into your pocket instead of the energy company’s bank account.
One place in the home that is infamous for letting heat out and cold in are around doors. Gaps from poorly fitting doors and cracks along door jams are perfect places to begin your winterizing; either by installing storm doors or using an insulation trim that you can buy at the local hardware store.
Locate drafty areas by running your hand along door frames that lead to the outside. When you locate where cold air is coming in use one of the many insulating strip products available at your local home center to fill these gaps. It is important to fill these gaps without impeding the doors ability to close properly; otherwise you have just created a bigger gap for heat to escape through.
There are several different methods that you can use to adequately insulate windows. The most durable would be to install storm windows. These are windows that attach to your current single pane window via the frame and provide a second panel of glass between your home’s interior and the outside elements. With this option you are still able to open windows on those warmer days for a breath of fresh air.
Insulation film is another cost effective manner in which you can winterize your windows for the season. This type of insulation is a thin film that uses double sided tape to adhere it to the window frame on the interior side of the window. Once it is installed you use a hair dryer to shrink the film snuggly into place; essentially shrink wrapping the window. You will not be able to open the windows again without removing the insulation film though.
Replacing old caulking around window sills is another inexpensive way to save your heat from escaping into the cold night air. Old caulk and pealing trim are an often overlooked source of cold air drafts.
Don’t forget your rooftop vents and swamp cooler vents. Since heat rises, these are optimal areas for heat to escape leaving lower levels frigid. Simply placing a garbage bag or some form of heavy duty tarp over vents and sealing them in place with duct tape for the winter months will keep cold air out, and warm air in.
Each season has its own challenges when it comes to keeping the energy bills under control, however by implementing a few inexpensive winterizing techniques you can save more than a few dollars this winter through lower heating costs.