Nobody likes a cold, drafty home - especially during the frigid winter months. But homeowners who like to keep things toasty indoors are forced to face high energy costs and heating bills, which are thankfully expected to be much lower this heating season compared to last winter. But thrifty homeowners who want to further increase their savings and improve their home's energy efficiency can take several measures to make it happen.
1. Install Window Film
Studies have shown that window glass can lose up to 70% of the heat generated in your home. Even energy-efficient glass is susceptible to energy loss, making the need for additional layers of protection vital. While some homeowners opt for plastic wrap to seal their window panes in cold weather, the only way to truly make your windows energy efficient is to install window film.
2. Add a Storm Door
Adding a protective storm door to your entry door may be the perfect solution to a cold, drafty entryway. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, adding a storm door can reduce your energy loss through your door by as much as 50 percent. Adding an additional low-emission layer of glass or protective coating can further prevent energy loss, so if you're able to add a storm door for the winter months, we'd highly recommend it.
3. Seal Your Doors and Windows
Weather stripping your doors and windows can have a dramatic impact on heat loss in your home, so if you're concerned that your doors or windows are leaking, it's a good time to make preventative measures. Check for broken door and window seals by lighting a small candle and holding it near the edges of the frame. If any smoke disappears through the cracks, you've got a faulty seal on your hands. Installing new doors and windows will correct the problem, but for homeowners on a budget, clear tape, weather stripping, or rubber inserts should correct the problem.
4. Hang Thermal Curtains
Thermal and blackout curtains are a great way to reduce your home's heat loss, keep cool air in during the summer, and reduce available light. They're the perfect solution for daytime and light sleepers, but keeping them closed during the night will also ward off that chilly morning surprise after you jump out of bed. Some manufacturers estimate a 25% reduction in energy loss with thermal curtains, so if you've got the extra cash to spend (think $50-75 per curtain), we'd say it's well worth it.
5. Give Your System a Check-up
Is your water heater and furnace working to peak efficiency? When was the last time you drained your system? If you don't know the answers to either question, you may be in literal hot water this season. Water heaters are generally pretty maintenance-free, but prudent homeowners should take care to prevent leaks and lost efficiency by regularly inspecting their water heater and the connecting pipes, flushing your water heater every six months, and replacing the anode rod every few years as needed.
If you're concerned about the condition of your water heater, give the experts at Pioneer Plumbing and Heating a call. We can quickly diagnose your water heater's problems and make the necessary repairs to ensure its long life and efficiency. Use the contact form or call us at 206-232-3233 for more information.
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