Put Your Home on an Energy Diet
Follow these tips from Larry Cavalier to help you save both energy and money during the cooler season.
A Do-It-Yourself Guide to preparing the home for cooler temperatures.
Is your home ready for cooler months ahead? Follow these tips from Larry Cavalier, Technical Service Engineer for Filtrete™ Filters from 3M, to help you save both energy and money during the cooler season:
1. Give your furnace a tune up. Hire a professional to make sure your furnace is operating at peak performance. The specialist will adjust the burners, clean out the blower box and verify that your heat exchanger isn’t rusty. A rusty heat exchanger may allow carbon monoxide to be drawn into your home.
If your furnace has seen better days, consider replacing it with a new high-efficiency model. After the initial investment, you’ll likely spend less to heat your home over time.
2. Change your air filter. For maximum effectiveness, replace your Filtrete™ Filter every three months to help reduce airborne particles and allergens from the air passing through the filter. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this helps maintain your heating and cooling system and helps save energy at home.
3. Seal leaks around windows and doors. Walk around the outside of your home and search for caulk that’s cracking and peeling from windows and doors. Pay special attention to southern-facing windows and doors, which receive the most sun exposure (and are most prone to wear over time). Scrape off damaged caulk and apply fresh caulk in its place.
4. Install 3M™ Window Insulator Film. Heat loss and condensation may be reduced by using window insulator film on drafty windows, either inside or outside. They’re great on chilly patio doors, too. Taking this simple step can help save you money throughout the heating season.
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If you plan to use 3M window insulator film outside, you’ll need to install it when the temperature is 50°F or above. Don’t wait for the colder weather to arrive, or you may not get a good seal.
5. Replace worn-out windows. Old, drafty windows are hard to seal completely against the cold. Consider replacing them with more energy-efficient windows, which can help save on heating costs over time.
6. Give doors a tight seal. Loose caulking isn’t the only way drafts and moisture can enter your home. They can slip under and around doors, too. Install foam weather stripping on the sides and a vinyl sweep on the bottom of each door.
7. Install a programmable thermostat. At night and while the house is empty, program the thermostat to automatically lower the temp to between 65 and 68°F. During the day, set the temp at a more comfortable 70 to 72°F.
If you already have a programmable thermostat, now is a good time to replace the 9V battery for the season.
8. Keep heating vents clear. Walk through the rooms of your home to make sure that nothing is blocking the heating vents. It’s okay to have furniture nearby, as long as it sits at least a few inches away. This gives the warm air room to flow.
9. Check your attic insulation. Much of the heat loss from your home happens in the attic. If it’s not insulated enough, you could have what’s known as a “hot roof.” This can result in ice dams on the roof and possible water damage inside.
If you think you might need more insulation in the attic, call a professional to help with installation.
10. Inspect your roof. Check for any missing or broken shingles. Rain, snow and ice can enter your home through these weak spots and result in water damage. Get shingles fixed now before the colder weather comes.
Larry Cavalier leads the team of Filtrete™ Healthy Home Authority, a resource center to help you maintain a healthier home.
Visit the Healthy Home Authority website