It’s tempting to spend the short, cold days of winter curled up with a good book and a cup of something hot. However, you can’t be cozy if cold wind seeps into your home through poorly insulated doors and windows. Or, what about if a leaky attic lets all the warm air out? A well-insulated home is a warm, energy-efficient space that you can truly relax in.
Increasing Winter Comfort Is as Easy as 1, 2, 3
Not every winter prep job is a DIY affair. You may need to call professionals for a job done well. Don’t let the idea of spending money on home services scare you. Improving your home’s comfort may actually save you money in the long run. For example, replacing old insulation with new, more efficient materials will immediately cut down your heating bills. Follow these three tips to be better prepared for the coming winter.
1. Evaluate the Insulation in Your Attic
Not every builder considers regional differences when determining the ideal amount of insulation for a building. Having professional insulation installers check your attic for cold weather is the best course of action. Experienced technicians can remove asbestos and replace it with the best insulation for your home.
Even if the insulation is adequate, warm air from your home could be escaping through cracks and crevices in the attic. Air sealing helps to regulate the temperature of your home, retains the temperature indoors, and prevents contaminated air from leaking in. A well-sealed and insulated attic space improves your indoor air quality and comfort.
2. Assess Windows and Doors
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, doors and windows cause up to 30 percent of the heat loss in your home. To prevent your winter heating bill from skyrocketing, check for gaps or cracks in the caulking around windows and replace old weather stripping around doors if needed.
While these are easy DIY fixes, you might consider having a complete professional energy assessment. For example, blower door testing measures the airtightness of a home. Identifying leaks makes it easier for a certified technician to recommend the insulation solutions that will work best.
3. Schedule Furnace Maintenance
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, poorly maintained heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires. Dust and debris can build up in your HVAC ducts, prompting your system to work harder, break down more often, cost more to run, and (in dire cases) start house fires. Yearly furnace maintenance appointments will ensure your unit runs efficiently and safely. Call your trusty HVAC provider and ask if they have a maintenance enrollment plan.
Don’t Wait – Insulate!
The best time of year to prepare for winter is before the weather turns cold. Schedule your maintenance and inspection appointments in early fall. Not only will you beat the seasonal rush, but you’ll also get an early start on enjoying the winter weather from inside your warm, energy-efficient home.