Even though the winter is in full force and it is more than likely that you’ve weatherized your home for the season, there is one thing you may still want to consider: how confident are you that your humble abode is sufficiently insulated and that you have no air leaks? Unless your home was designed and constructed for energy efficiency, chances are that you can likely benefit from adding more insulation, particularly if you live in an older home.
If your home still feels cold, this may be a red flag. However, the proper first step to determining this is to determine whether or not your home is properly insulated and/or if you have an air leak (and where it is coming from). The easiest way to do this is to have a professional come and conduct a home energy assessment. While a professional energy audit provides you the most complete picture of your homes’ energy usage, a thorough self-assessment can be sufficient to determine whether or not your home is properly insulated and/or if you are experiencing heat loss due to leaks.
To find air leaks yourself, you can conduct a simple visual inspection by checking all areas of the outside of your house where two different materials meet (for example all exterior corners or outdoor water faucets) and inside your home around any areas for cracks that could cause air leaks (i.e. electrical outlets, vents/fans, cable/TV lines, baseboards, switch plates, electrical outlets, etc.). Also, examine all windows and doors for air leaks. If you can rattle them, or you can see daylight around a door or window, you likely have a leak. Again, if you do not wish to hire a professional, you can also evaluate your home’s insulation yourself by finding out where your home is not properly insulated, the type of insulation that you have, the R-Value (an insulating material’s resistance to conductive heat flow is measured or rated in terms of its thermal resistance or R-value), and the thickness of insulation by inspecting it yourself.
Whichever route you choose to take, if you find that your home does, in fact, have air leaks or is not properly insulated, don’t panic! It’s not too late and it doesn’t necessarily have to cost hundreds of dollars in upgrades. We’ve listed below 5 easy ways DIY ways that you can prevent high energy costs this winter by addressing any newfound by air leaks or improper insulation.
1. Hang thick curtains
- Hanging thicker curtains during the winter is easy and can significantly help keep the cold out of your home and the heat in.
- If your windows are particularly drafty, consider even hanging blackout curtains that have a thermal back for an extra layer of insulation.
2. Insulate your water heater
- Much like you put on a jacket to keep warm, you can put a jacket around your water to warm it without having to use excess energy to heat it. You can purchase a fiberglass jacket from most home improvement stores and wrap it around your water heater like a blanket.
3. Insulate your attic
- In most homes, a lot of the air that leaks that occur are found in the attic. That’s what makes this is one of the most efficient things you can do to make an impact on your energy bill.
- Even the most inexperienced individual; can handle this task. All you need to do is purchase rolls of unfaced insulation and unroll it on the floor of your attic, ensuring that the spaces between the joists are full of insulation. Once this has been completed, you can even add another layer.
4. Seal your doors
- If you can feel a draft at the bottom of your door, you can purchase a draft excluder from a hardware or home improvement store for around $10.
- If you’re feeling crafty, you can even make your own.
5. Cover air leaks with weatherproofing
- Weatherproofing strips and caulking are both inexpensive and can be installed in a matter of minutes.
These 5 DIY’s for rescuing yourself from high energy bills throughout the remainder of the season are all relatively simple and inexpensive. Because helping our customers be more energy-conscious is a top priority for us, we have been offering energy-efficiency products for years. Recently, we have even expanded our offering to include a much more comprehensive portfolio of products at competitive prices. The new offering of products is based on the following categories: energy-efficient lighting, water conservation, weatherization, and home efficiency, smart meters, and appliance-efficiency.
If you’re an existing customer, be sure to log in to your Ecogold account to redeem your weatherizing products. If you’re not, give us a call to learn about how you can start living more sustainably today! 1.877.208.7636.