Weatherizing on a Budget
It’s fall in New England which brings cooler temperatures and is quickly followed by the cold New England winter.
Our winters normally take a bite out of our budgets but a little, weatherization can help us in realizing some savings. But before we talk about weatherization, let’s first look at a couple of safety tips which could also save us a few dollars as well as pain and aggravation. Carbon monoxide detectors should be tested and, if necessary install new batteries. The same with smoke detectors and, if smoke detectors are over six years old they should be replaced with new ones. The manufacturers date can normally be found on the back of the detector. Also, exterior porch handrails should be secured and the stair treads on porch steps should not be cracked or loose.
So what can we do to prepare for the coming winter’s cold temperatures to keep ourselves comfortable and maintain our budgets:
- Contact your fuel provider to see if they offer any budget plan that might be available.
- Make the switch to programmable thermostats.
- Change the filters at your furnace. Dirty filters require your system to work harder than necessary.
- On a windy day, hold a lit incense stick next to your windows, doors, electrical outlets, ceiling lights and other locations where there is possible air leaks. If the smoke stream travels horizontally, you have located an area that needs sealing with caulking or weatherstripping.
- Caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows. This should include basement and attic doors.
- Install rubber gaskets at electric outlets and switches.
- Install heavy duty clear plastic to the inside on a window frame. Remember plastic must be tightly sealed to the frame to eliminate infiltration.
- Seal hot air heat ducts with aluminum tape to improve efficiency of the heating system.
- Wear a sweater. For every degree you turn down your thermostat, you can save 3-5% on your heating bill.
- Let the sun heat your home during the day. Open your shades and curtains during the day and close them at sundown.
- Call Mass Save and have a free energy audit on your home. They offer free advice and often free light bulbs and other energy saving devices. (contact them at masssave.com)
If you have any questions, give us a call at Way Finders. We are always happy to help!