By most accounts, Americans across the board can look forward to a cold winter. Here are some highlights from a few long-range forecasts. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-yeager/winter-forecast-2011-2012_b_981801.html What this means for many of us is that heating costs will be up. What can you do today to ensure that you keep more of your hard earned money in your pocket to make sure your Holidays are merry? Here are several tips for weatherizing your home.
When it comes to your roof, once cold weather hits, what you see is what you get in most climates, since many common roofing products are best installed at warmer temperatures. One area that many home owners are confused about is attic ventilation. Whether your home has traditional turbine style vents, a raised ridge cap vent, or gable vents, it needs air circulating underneath to keep it dry and prevent mildew and mold. There are things you can do to improve poor ventilation, or to keep snow from blowing through existing vents and blanketing your attic. Contact us for more specific details and a free assessment of your ventilation.
In the region of the country that Oklahoma is part of, attic insulation is essential. With temps that range over 100 in the Summer (it was extremely hot this year) to below zero Fahrenheit in the winter, an uninsulated house is like a lottery jackpot for the utility companies and costs its residents double or triple what they should be paying for heating and cooling. There are a number of ways to insulate your attic. Start with the floor, whether loose or batted, your insulation should be 12 to 13 inches deep from the top of the sheetrock up. If it is not, call us today for an inspection. Whether you add it yourself, or hire it done, the investment will pay for itself in three years or less with average weather conditions.
Replacing old drafty windows can decrease your costs as well. Live in a historical house with beautiful wooden windows? They can be weather stripped and have storms added to the outside for insulation. Caulking around the edges of all windows is essential. Caulking should run up both sides and across the top. Be leery of caulk underneath, which can clog weep holes. These are tiny drains designed to allow any moisture or condensation to escape. Contact us for a professional inspection if you have any problems.
Doors can be a challenge. A properly sealed door should not have visible light along any of its edges, as viewed from inside the house. While weatherstripping can help, a door that is out of plumb, may never seal right. Contact us for a recommended contractor to come and inspect doors you are unsure about. Caulk around the outside of the frame at top, bottom and sides. Add weatherstrip to the edges of the door. For the bottom, an adjustable threshold can be installed for problem areas, or a door sweep, attached to the inside bottom edge, may be enough. Check your storm door too for the best seal.
Replace your filters. Even in the cleanest of homes, your heat and air system cycles all of your air through it multiple times a day and is bound to collect a lot of dust in the process. If you have reusable filters, simply rinse them out. Check your service contract with your heat and air company. Most of them offer tuneups for Winter and Summer, which are slightly lower than traditional service calls. They can do a full inspection and let you know if they see any areas you can improve to save you money!