Now that the snow, ice and cold have arrived, it might be a good time to think about "winterizing your home." Most of us have put off the monotonous tasks until now and are beginning to suffer from frozen toes, hands and high-energy bills. One local heating and air conditioning company tells us not to worry. There are ways to protect your home from the cold and save you money on your energy bills.
Ken Kalke of Crossfield Heating and Air Conditioning says even though some of us might have waited until now to think about sealing our windows and checking our furnaces, it's not too late.
"One of the easiest things you can do to seal in heat is to add or replace worn weather-stripping around doors and windows," says Kalke. "Install storm doors and windows and don't forget about winter-proofing the basement."
Kalke says that one of the major improvements should include installing or upgrading the insulation in your home. He reminds us that proper insulation keeps the home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. He says that some homes benefit from additional wall insulation and says that there are different types of insulation that can be added to existing walls.
"Heating costs will consume an increasingly larger portion of a household's energy budget," says Kalke. "That's why it's important to have a professional perform a routine check-up that includes vacuuming vents, replacing filters, and filling oil and propane tanks among many other things," he says.
"It's the little things that you can do that really add up," says Kalke. "If done properly you will see a decrease on your energy bill by the next month," he says.
Some things you and a professional can do to keep your house warm include:
· Close the damper on your fireplace- If your damper is open when your not using the
fireplace, your chimney functions as a large open window that draws warm air out of the room
and creates a draft.
· Examine your house's heating ducts for leaks- Ducts can leak for years without anyone
knowing. Having a professional patch them up could save you 10 percent on your heating bill.
· Insulate your attic- R-30 insulation is considered the minimum; if your house is old you should
add more for maximum effectiveness.
· Make sure all heating vents are opened and unblocked by furniture or other items-
blocking them will result in restricted air-flow throughout your home.
· Consider a programmable thermostat to raise and lower temperature and pre-set times- The newest models are 97 percent energy efficient and will save you money on your next
Things YOU can do:
Kalke says that there are some things that homeowners can do before they enlist the help of their heating company.
· Add or replace worn weather stripping around doors and windows
· Install storm doors and windows
· Close the damper on your fireplace when not in use
· Replace air filters in the furnace
Things a PROFESSIONAL can do:
· Routine maintenance on heating equipment to maintain peak performance
· Do an energy audit of your house to identify any energy wasting or comfort problems that may
· Install a programmable thermostat to raise and lower temperatures and pre-set times
· Examine your house's heating ducts for leaks, uneven temperatures and incorrect airflow.
Crossfield Heating and Air Conditioning
44 Donovan Street