It’s late fall and we are starting to feel the cold inside and outside our homes. Odds are your energy bill will start feeling it too. Here are some things you can do to winterproof your home and save money on heating bills at the same time. Having said that, investing in new windows can pay dividends. New windows are great for keeping your house warm and lowering heating costs. Not to mention, new windows will increase the value of your home over time.
Tips for Keeping Your House Warm in Winter
Old windows are public enemy number one to your house. This is because old windows are not properly insulated. Older windows let in cold drafts, making it harder for the furnace to heat the home. The technology used to manufacture modern vinyl windows provides better insulation. Furthermore, new windows have a lower U-Value.
A U-Value is a way of measuring how well an insulated glass unit can retain heated or cooled air. Lower U-Value numbers mean that the windows provide better insulation. Once your home reaches your desired temperature, the windows will help maintain it, thereby keeping your home warm. It is best to choose windows with a U-Value of 0.25 or lower.
New windows give additional protection from outside elements. For extra protection, consider choosing double or triple plane glass windows. Some new windows also have argon gas between the panes. Low-e coating can be added to new windows as well. Not to mention, new windows will help to keep outside noise on the outside. Lastly, new windows save you money on maintenance and temporary fixes such as applying caulk. Caulk tends to crack and dry out, and as a result, fails to provide proper insulation to winter weather.
Cold Proof Rooms
Furniture in front of radiators can block the flow of heat. If you have a radiator mounted on an exterior wall, place a sheet of aluminum foil behind it to prevent heat from escaping. In fact, aluminum foil will also reflect heat back into the room. Rugs and mats on cold hardwood or tile floors will also retain heat.
On sunny days open the drapes and let the sunlight come in. The sun’s rays will help warm a room during the daytime. As the sun goes down close the drapes to keep the warmth in. Another tip is to have ceiling fans rotating clockwise in the winter. Warm air rises, therefore, a fan moving clockwise will send warm air down again.
Adjust the Ducts
Check to see if your air ducts have adjustable settings for summer and winter. Oftentimes, ductwork has dampers to allow the airflow to be adjusted. The damper handle can be turned parallel to the duct line for maximum flow. If you don’t have one, consider installing a duct booster fan to increase the flow of hot air in the winter (and cool air in summer).
Most inline booster fans will fit into standard-size metal ducts. The blower should be mounted near an outlet. A pressure switch senses the air pressure from the furnace and activates the fan when the furnace blower comes on. Some boosters have built-in switches and some can just plug into an outlet. Choose a fan with a powerful motor and heavier gauge housing, as these fans will be quieter when in use.
A loose fireplace damper can lose up to twenty percent of the warm air in your home. To eliminate this problem, clean your chimney and use a fireplace plug to seal the flue. You will need to measure the dimensions of the fireplace so you know the correct plug size to buy.
Last But Not Least
Clean the furnace filter. A dirty furnace filter can cause inefficient heating and cooling. Although it might take some time to clean if it has been neglected, your body temperature will thank you. Make a habit to regularly clean the furnace filter. Love your furnace and it will warm up to and for you.
Additional Reading: Energy Efficient Window Coverings
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