With cold weather on the way you want to be sure your home is sealed up tight against air and moisture leaks. Otherwise you could be dealing with mold, infestations, and more when the snow starts to thaw.
Hot air rises, and often leaks out the roof of your home. That is why quality insulation is so important in the upper levels. Nearly half of the homes in the United States are under insulated. You want insulation with a high R-value to reduce heat transfer and increase thermal efficiency.
It starts with sealing up the big leaks with weather-stripping on the windows and doors. These are the weakest links in the exterior envelope of your home. But you will also want to fill any penetrations such as pipes, chimneys, recessed lighting, dryer vents, and wiring. You will be amazed how these little gaps can impact your heating expenses come winter. For these smaller leaks you can use caulk or expanding foam.
In forced-air heating and cooling the ducts are what carry the hot and cool air to the rest of your home. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) predicts nearly 1/5 of that air escapes through leaks in your ducts. So to prevent this problem use duct use foil tape or mastic to seal duct connections.
Install a Programmable or Smart Thermostat
One big mistake many homeowners forget is either leaving the heating running full blast or turning it off completely while they are out of the house. And manual thermostats are a big factor in this. Experts recommend you leave the furnace running, but down a few degrees while you are out of the house, and resuming a comfortable temperature once you are home. A smart or programmable thermostat can take control of that for you and save you about 10% on your heating and cooling costs.
Replace your Old Furnace
Heating systems that are more than 20 years old at the very least require maintenance, and at most require replacement. Even a middle of the road product today will give you 10 to 20 percent savings compared to these outdated systems. Not only are they more energy efficient, but they also meet more stringent safety standards. And if you seal off other leaks and fenestrations, you might even be able to downsize your unit.
Invest in Energy Efficient Windows
Because it would take so long to recoup the expense, replacement windows are not really a cost-effective improvement strictly for energy efficiency. But if your old windows are leaking, difficult to operate, broken, or unsafe then replacement windows would be a worthy investment. However, don’t choose aluminum windows if you are looking for the best energy efficiency. Instead you will want to look at wood, vinyl, or fiberglass for optimal thermal performance.
Install Energy-Efficient Doors
Along with windows, doors are another weakness in the external envelope of your home. If weather-stripping doesn’t cut it you might think about get a new door with higher thermal resistance.
Call Scientific Home Services for Upgrades Today
If you want to get replacement windows in Chicago, IL, call us at (847) 752-0370 or stop by 7240 Saint Louis Ave., Skokie, IL 60076.