Freezing cold weather has arrived! You might be layering up with hats and gloves when you step outside but is your home adequately winterized? A few easy DIY projects can help you keep your family warm and comfortable, protect your home from the elements, and save you money on costly utility bills.
First Step: Energy Audit
Perform a DIY home energy audit (or hire an auditor) to determine where your home is losing the most energy, then prioritize that project. Request a free inspection by your local power company.
Weatherproof and Insulate
5% – 30% of your energy use could be leaking from your house! Prevent cold air from entering your home and heat from escaping it, by weatherproofing with caulking and weatherstripping, and by installing storm doors and windows. Add or replace insulation along your attic floor, on your basement ceiling, and between walls.
- Tune-up: just like your car, your heating system requires periodic tune-ups to perform at its optimum level.
- Furnace Filters: Replace or clean your furnace filters to increase airflow and decrease energy demand.
- Thermostat: 50% – 70% of your energy budget is probably spent on heating and cooling, but you can reduce your energy consumption (and your utility bill) by customizing your home’s temperature and only running your system when you are at home. A $50programmable thermostat can save the average family$180 per year!
- Seal Ducts: In an average system, 10% – 30% of cooled and heated air escapes from leaky ducts.
- Water Main: Locate your water main so you will know where to shut off your water in the event of an emergency.
- Water Heater: Lowering your conventional water heater from 140 degrees to 120 degrees can reduce your water heating costs by 6% -10%.
- Insulate Pipes: Insulating your pipes can decrease their freezing chances. If your pipes are warm to the touch, they could use insulation. Purchase pre-slit pipe foam (with the highest practical R-value) at your favorite hardware stores, cut it to size, then fasten with duct tape.
- Circulating System: Adding a circulation system results in instant hot water, water conservation and built-in protection from frozen/busted pipes.
Choose the Right Contractor
These DIY projects may seem a bit daunting or you may have additional winterization projects in mind. If you need to hire an expert, do your research to ensure you find the best contractor for your situation. If you are in need of any water and plumbing related projects—call Water Savers! Our family-owned and operated company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and we’ve been voted the “Best Plumbing Company in Atlanta” because we do the job right the first time, every time!