Stay Warm, and Solvent, this Winter

Keeping your home warm this winter has gotten a bit easier for many Americans, thanks to lower fuel oil prices. But, the cost of home heating still eats up a lot of your family budget.

To avoid paying more than you should Generac – a company that makes generators – has put together these 5 tips for helping to keep the heat in your home, where it belongs

“1. Top Off Your Attic Insulation—A high percentage of heat loss occurs through the roof because of poor insulation. Make sure your attic is insulated with the minimum R-value for your climate (up to R-49 for northern). Also, check the rim joist areas above the foundation walls in the basement and plug any gaps with fiberglass insulation.

  1. Dial Down the Thermostat—Tried and true, because most people can live comfortably with a lower temperature around 68 degrees. Setting it lower than that when you’re away or asleep will also save on energy. Consider purchasing a programmable thermostat that will lower the temperature automatically during off-peak times.
  2. Replace or Insulate Drafty Windows—You can literally hear your money flying out the window when a winter wind blows on old windows. Consider replacing old windows with energy-efficient ones. Another option is to put up window insulating kits. The clear plastic film can increase coziness by reducing drafts, saving energy and avoiding the costs of window replacement.
  3. Fill Gaps with Caulks and Sealants—Replace old caulk joints around your window and door trim (both inside and outside) that can shrink and leak energy over time. Use a spray foam sealant to fill in the gaps left around pipes, wires, TV cables or bath and dryer vents penetrating your foundation or siding.
  4. Get an Energy Audit—Most local utilities can help you arrange a home energy audit to pinpoint where to focus your winterizing efforts. One essential tool is a thermal-imaging camera, which uses infrared technology to show where heat is escaping the house. In many areas the cameras are available to rent, so try one out before winterizing to know exactly what needs to be done to lower your heating bill.”

The projects recommended can be accomplished in a weekend, at little cost. Turning down the thermostat is free, and really easy.