How to take enjoy on your home

Winter will be here before you know it, and in some areas of the country, heating costs are rising as temperatures are dropping. While the Farmer’s Almanac predicts a colder-than-normal winter for some parts of the country, no matter where you live, you will want to make sure your home is prepared for the coming months. Your house may already have sufficient insulation, but if there are doors, windows, or other areas that are allowing air to leak out, you could be paying to heat the outside of your home.

You might be surprised at some of the areas of your home that can allow air loss. Typically, air leaks can be sealed with caulking, expanding foam, weather-stripping, insulating gaskets, additional insulation or in the case of floor spaces that leak air with backer board. Sealing air leaks in your home is one of the least expensive home improvements you can do that will see the fastest return on your investment with decreased heating or cooling bills.

RECESSED LIGHTING

Considered the number one cause of air loss in a home or business, recessed lighting cans typically vent into an attic, which can allow heat and air conditioning to escape. With a simple airtight baffle, the fix is quick and easy, the return on investment immediate.

While you are fixing any air leaks with recessed or canned lighting fixtures, consider swapping out your light bulbs for ones that will produce less heat when they are on to help keep your rooms cooler, so your thermostat will correctly interpret the ambient room temperature.

HEAT VENTS AND AIR CONDITIONING REGISTERS

The culprits here are gaps in and around the duct work and duct boot that connects to vents and registers. Once you have found the air leak, you can fix it with foil duct tape, mastic or silicone caulk. Again, it’s a fast and inexpensive fix with an immediate cost benefit.

Exterior Doors

Weather-stripping is another improvement that will not be very expensive, but it can easily be done to seal off exterior doors. You will want to get weather stripping that will be thick enough to block any air loss, but not so thick that you cannot close the door securely. If the door does not latch properly because of the weather stripping, it could possibly open on its own. If that happens when you are asleep or away from home, it could result in a great deal of heat loss before it is closed again.