Weatherize Your Home For Winter
The Farmer’s Almanac extended forecast predicts heavy snowfall in Baltimore by late March. That means residents could be facing a particularly chilly winter season. The five following steps to weatherize your home will protect it from this coming winter.
An easy way to weatherize your windows
Ever wonder why hotels use thick drapes for their rooms? That’s because drapes are one of the cheapest ways to keep cozy rooms nice and warm. The window attachments you choose don’t have to be expensive, since any high-quality drape can do the job. Just make sure they can reach the floor for optimal value.
Best of all, drapes can provide sound insulation and will help save money to help with high winter electricity bills.
Examine and Update Exterior Door Weatherstripping
Your exterior doors are some of the biggest sources of heat loss in your home. Poorly insulated doors can lead to higher energy costs even if you have the best electricity rates in Baltimore. But having a professional examine and check the weatherstripping of your exterior doors can help mitigate this waste.
DIY experts will want to consider silicon weatherstripping that compresses no more than 85%. It’ll help weatherize your home and last a long time.
Change Your Heating Filters For Better Efficiency
When was the last time you checked your heating system filters? If you haven’t checked your filters before the BGE electricity rate increase earlier this month, then it may be time for an inspection.
Clean heating system filters improve your heating and cooling efficiency which means more heating when and where you need it. Well-maintained filters also prevent dust buildup that could lead to system failure and expensive repair and maintenance bills. While Energy Star recommends checking monthly, some homes can get away with checking every three months.
Check Ductwork For Air Leaks
Homes with forced-air heating and cooling systems depend on ductwork to distribute air throughout the house. But most homes lose as much as 20 to 30 percent of air due to leaks, holes, and poorly sealed ducts. This causes higher bills and makes your home less comfortable during colder or hotter months. You can prevent this by having your ductwork inspected.
Insulate Your Attic To Cut Heating Bills
When planning your weatherization project, make sure you look at your attic insulation. A well-insulated attic can help lower your heating and cooling energy usage all year round.
When you shop for insulation, you’ll hear about “R-Values” (written as R-#) which is a measurement of how well your insulation can keep heat in and cold out per inch of thickness. Energy Star recommends that attic insulation should be around R-38, or about 10-14 inches depending on insulation type. This insulation will cost you anywhere from $1000 to $2000, which is a costly investment. But, EPA energy estimates suggest 15% savings on heating and cooling costs.
You’ll also want to consider which insulation materials are best for your home attic. For instance, my home attic doesn’t offer a lot of room to maneuver. So loose-fill fiberglass is my best choice because it’s easier to put in.
Choosing The Best Place To Start
There are plenty of ways to weatherize your home for the winter that we haven’t listed. But these five tips will give you a strong start on saving energy while keeping your house comfortable. Choosing where to start depends on your budget and household needs. You can learn more about saving money and energy by comparing rates and plans at www.mdenergyratings.com.