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Home Improvement  /  December 30, 2015

How to Keep Cold Air Out of Your Home This Winter

Brrrrr!  It seems to happen overnight.  Those chilly mornings start to turn into chilly days and then suddenly you realize you cannot comfortably walk around in your house without multiple layers on.

Brrrrr!  It seems to happen overnight.  Those chilly mornings start to turn into chilly days and then suddenly you realize you cannot comfortably walk around in your house without multiple layers on.  While homes will naturally stay cooler during the winter months and warmer during the summer months, if you notice that your home seems to be uncomfortably cold during the winter (or warm during the summer), you may have unwanted air entering your home.  And if air can come in, it can be wasted out as well.  It is important that every homeowner seasonally examine their home to ensure that it is properly sealed so that valuable utilities are not wasted and comfort is maximized. Below are some ways to keep the cold winter air out.  Homeowners should keep their eyes peeled for potential leaks and consult a homeowner to ensure no leaks are missed and that repair are properly conducted.

1. Windows and Door Seals

  • Windows and doors are some of the most common sources of air leaks that allow cold air into the home.  Over time, and through exposure to the elements, the air-tight seals used to install windows and doors can break down, allowing air to flow freely between the leaks.  It may not seem significant but it is a major waste of utilities and can make a room unnecessarily cold.  Unsure if the seals on your windows or doors are leaking air?  Move a lit candle around the window or door frame.  If you see a flicker in the flame you know that there is a leak that needs to be repaired. Repairing and replacing a window or door seal is relatively easy and inexpensive but can have a significant impact.  Additionally, installing a door sweep along the bottom of the door may be helpful in reducing air escape.

2. Window Replacement

  • You can buy time with your old, drafty single-pane windows during the cold winter months through the use of window kits that basically seal your window with plastic wrap temporarily.  But, this option is neither attractive no permanent.  While replacing windows is a pricier option than repairing the seal around a window or door, the benefits replacing windows that are either damaged or single pane can be dramatic.  Energy Star points out just how much a homeowner will save each year after making the switch, “$126–$465 a year when replacing single-pane windows.”  And you will feel the difference too!

3. Add Insulation

  • There is a significant amount of heat loss through the ceiling into the attic where it escapes your home.  Heat rises and all that money you are spending on heating is simply floating away into the attic where nobody needs the warm air.  Many homes do not have sufficient insulation in their home, or the insulation is old and over time has become less effective.  By adding insulation to your attic you slow the transfer of heat through your ceiling and keep more in the living spaces where you need it.

4. Seal Even the Smallest Things In Your Home

  • There may be a small gap between your outlet plate and the wall that you think is no big deal but, actually, each little small gap like that is allowing the heat you pump into your home to escape through the walls.  While many people think to look at outlet plates, look at light switch plates, ceiling light fixtures, plumbing pipes, bathroom and dryer vents and any other areas you can think of where heat loss may be occurring.  Caulk or spray foam are simple solutions that will fix the issue of small air leaks in your home.

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