What’s the best way to go about winterizing your home? We’ve got a few tips up our sleeve to help you go green while saving green this winter. First and foremost, we’d recommend getting an energy audit., This means allowing a professional to walk around your home and determine where you’re losing heat, or wasting energy, so that you can better prepare for the upcoming winter season. If a professional audit is above budget, you can also consider buying an infrared thermometer as a do-it-yourself option. This will help you measure surface temperatures and pinpoint spots in your home where you might be leaking air or that could benefit from extra insulation. In short, it will enable you to do your own energy audit so you can best decide where to best invest your home improvement money this season. This sort of practice is especially helpful in older homes, which may have shifted over the years. Also, keep in mind that many older homes were not built with the type of insulation we use today and this can be a big factor in heat loss come winter.
Once you’ve determined the spaces in your home where air is leaking out or in, you can go about doing a bit of sealing. This is a relatively painless and easy task you can do on your own – there’s no need to call in the pros for this one. Green construction is all about sealing it tight and ventilating it right, and this is a mantra that we should all strive to adopt in our homes as it helps to save money and the environment. A simple tube of caulk can go a long way in tackling problem areas, especially once you’ve done your energy audit and know where to look. The interior walls of your home are responsible for keeping cold air out – but often times, the areas surrounding plugs and switches leak a bit of cold air around the edges – as do windows and doors. You can reduce air leakage by using caulk to seal around your home. Anywhere the air is leaking in can benefit for a little bit of caulk. If you’re sealing around electrical boxes, ensure that you turn off your breakers, test the outlets to make sure they’re really off, then seal around the edges and let things dry completely before you turn the power back on.
One of the biggest ways homes lose heat during the winter and cold air during the summer is lack of insulation. You may be surprised at how many houses have foundations and attics that haven’t been properly insulated. Insulating the walls of your basement, attic and foundation can make a huge difference in how much energy you save during the winter months. Any area through which you can see a tiny bit of daylight peeking through can be sealed. Expanding foam is great for small spaces and air leaks, but it’s also helpful to do full on fiberglass or denim insulation in larger spaces such as basements and attics. Fiber insulation helps to provide effective sound absorption as well as good thermal performance – a double whammy in our book! Make sure you wear a mask and utilize the proper tools when installing insulation; if the thought makes you nervous, hire a professional to ensure it’s done right.
Last but most certainly not least, we’d recommend an upgrade to the latest and greatest in thermostats. Our Omnistat2 thermostats offer the latest generation of programmable communicating thermostats, and provide precise digital temperature control over your HVAC system. These thermostats use digital technology to learn the heating and cooling patterns of your home, enabling you to customize your equipment for maximum efficiency and comfort in your space. They allow to easy adjustment of temperature, and don’t require batteries to retain their settings. Outdoor and indoor temperatures, as well as humidity and HVAC usage and energy consumption for the week are easily displayed. It’s easy to set back the equipment when you’re out of town, and vacation mode enables you to cool or heat your home in time for your return after a trip. You can even control your smart thermostat from afar, thanks to online and mobile functionality. Ensuring that you have control over your heating and cooling systems is the easiest way to save energy and money during the winter months – and of course, it’s the best way to make sure that all the work you’ve put in to winterize your home doesn’t go to waste! To learn more about smart thermostats, click here.
Products covered: Wireless Thermostats