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Bracing for Winter: Creating an Energy Efficient Home
Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Temperatures are dropping and frigid winter air is on the horizon.  This winter, don’t let the icy chill of surging energy costs freeze you to the bone.  A few simple home maintenance tricks and minor investments in new technology can help to lower your energy costs significantly.  Over the next two blogs we’ll be talking about home improvement tips to make your home more efficient this winter.

To start, the simple act of sealing up your house can drastically reduce your energy bill.  In this first step, you have two options.  If you want to go all out, you can hire an energy rater to come out and evaluate your house for air leaks.  Air leaks are common in most homes.  Anywhere where the interior wall is compromised with exposure to the exterior walls, they can occur.  It may be a result of an electric outlet, window frame, where the foundation meets the house, etc.  Energy rating professionals have the training and equipment to test your house for air leaks to see where heat may be escaping.  They conduct a variety of tests to determine where you may have loss:  blower door testing, air duct testing, thermal imaging testing.  If this isn’t in your budget, you can find any number of non-contact infrared thermometers online or at your local home improvement store at a very affordable price.  This tool helps you identify where air leaks are occurring throughout your home.

Once the air leak culprits are identified you can get to work on sealing up your home!

Insulate: If you identify leaks coming from your attic or other larger areas, you can always increase the amount of insulation.  

Expanding foam:  Your new favorite go to for air leak repairs can be expanding foam.  You may have air leaks in small areas:, where outside faucets and air vents meet the house, miscellaneous small areas in the home, etc.  Expanding foam can reach hard to seal areas, just be sure to read the directions and familiarize yourself with its consistency and drying time.  Also, be sure to wear gloves when handling because it can be super sticky before it begins to harden.

Caulk: Larger areas like window and door frames, electric sockets and can lights, may benefit more from additional caulking than the expanding foam.  When dealing with electrical sockets and lights, just be knowledgeable about the increased heat that surround these areas and assure that they have the proper ventilation.  It may require changing the type of can light you use, so the casing doesn’t get excessively hot.

This small weekend project could lead to hundreds of dollars saved over the course of just one winter, and your home (and wallet) will benefit for years to come.  If you still find you need more home improvements to create a more energy efficient home, we’re happy to help with a free consultation on remodeling or renovating your space.  Contact us today for more information!



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