We’ve had some extra-cold winters these past couple years and with that unfortunately comes extra-high energy bills. However, if you’re willing to invest a few minutes of your time and few dollars into each of the tips below, it will reduce home energy loss and save you a lot of money this winter and for many winters to come.
Tip 1: Seal Old-Drafty Windows
In homes with older windows you can actually be inside standing next to the window and feel the cold breeze from outside penetrating that window. When this happens, not only is cold air entering through and around the window, hot air is also escaping through and around the window. This can result in a large amount of energy loss throughout the winter because you’re forcing your furnace or boiler to work harder than needed to replace that lost heat.
One recommended option is to seal the windows for the winter using plastic. By placing the plastic completely over the window AND the trim, adhering the plastic directly to the drywall, you keep any cool breeze that might enter through or around window or trim blocked from entering the house. The plastic cover will reduce drafts, significantly decreasing heat loss and reducing excess furnace usage.
NOTE: Frost King offers a pre-made Window Insulation Kit with plastic and adhesive for 3 windows that can be purchased at Menards, Home Depot, and most other local home improvement stores for around $5.
Obviously, the best longterm energy-saving solution would be to replace old windows with new energy-star windows and do a thorough job of insulating around the window framing before putting trim back on. If you’re interested in significantly reducing energy costs for years to come, call or contact us today to get an estimate for some new windows for your home from our trusted window experts.
Tip 2: Seal Exterior Wall penetrations
In addition to hose-bibs that penetrate the walls for exterior access, new high-efficiency furnaces and water heaters now require venting directly outside the house (rather than through the chimney), resulting in many homes now having up to 3 or even 4 more wall penetrations than before. If not sealed properly, cold air will enter the house and hot air will escape around these holes.
Luckily, these can typically be fixed with an easy solution – a tube of caulk.
A thin layer of caulk around the wall penetration can significantly reduce energy loss by keeping the cold out and heat in. This is also significantly reduces the chances of basement water pipes freezing and bursting on those bitter-cold winter days that hit the midwest a few times each year.
NOTE: Even if the penetrations were sealed properly in the past, it’s best to check that the seal has held up through and is still intact before winter. An extra layer of caulk won’t hurt.
Do you have an old furnace that might be on it’s last leg? New furnaces have leveraged technology to decrease noise and running times while heating your house more thoroughly and efficiently than ever before. Replacing your old furnace could save you thousands of dollars in energy bills. Contact us for a free furnace evaluation and to get an estimate for replacement so you can reduce home energy loss and compare your energy savings.
Tip 3: Replace Your Furnace Filter At Least Every 30 Days
Even though it’s common knowledge that we’re supposed to replace the furnace filter on a monthly basis, it’s no secret that most people forget. We’re guilty ourselves. However, it might help you remember to change it by knowing that changing the furnace filter on a regular basis, ideally every 30 days, increases furnace efficiency.
A dirty filter decreases the efficiency of the furnace by decreasing the amount of previously heated return-air that can pass through the furnace. A clean furnace filter makes it easier and faster for the furnace to cycle heated air throughout the house, reducing the amount of time the furnace needs to run in order to maintain the requested temperature.