In just a few months winter will be upon us again, and for homeowners, that means keeping our families comfortable and protecting our homes by keeping the warm air inside and the cold air out in the cold! Unfortunately for many people, especially those with older homes, there are a number of ways that houses can lose heat, which can result in both an electric bill shock and a long, chilly winter indoors. So before the cold weather sets in, give your house a quick once over with my six point checklist.
Feel for a draft around your windows. Many single pane, wood sash windows are terrible for keeping in heat. You can either replace them, or at the very least, cover them or use a DIY insulation kit to caulk up any substantial gaps.
The same goes for the doors. Older doors tend to warp, creating large pockets between the door and the frame. New vinyl doors are inexpensive and can give your home a more contemporary look while retaining a significant amount of heat.
On the topic of doors, take a look at your door sweep. If you have one and it's in poor condition, have it replaced. This will help to keep warm air inside.
Check the insulation in your attic. Most of the homes I visit are not properly insulated, which means that heat is escaping right through the roof. Make sure your home has enough insulation by contacting a local contractor for an inspection.
Close up your fireplace when you're not using it. By leaving the flue open, you're letting the cold air seep right into the house. Have some glass doors installed so you can easily access the fireplace when you need to.
If you have a forced air heating and cooling system, check the ducts for leaks. If you find a crack, don't worry, it can easily be repaired with duct sealant. Your local hardware store will have it in stock.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, sealing air leaks in your home can save you between five and 30 per cent on your heating bill, so do yourself a favor and give your house a quick check up before the winter. Your family and your wallet will thank you.