That time of the year is here again and cold is right around the corner. Here are some tips from Wuensch Construction based out of Excelsior to help save money or lives.
To choose which project to tackle first, it may help to try performing your own energy audit, or, if some of these improvements prove to be a little ambitious for you, hiring an expert like Wuensch Construction.
1) Seal up the leaks. Caulk leaks around windows and doors. Look for places where you have pipes, vents or electrical conduits that go through the wall, ceiling or floor. Check the bathroom, underneath the kitchen sink, pipes inside a closet, etc. If you find a gap at the point where the pipe or vents goes through the wall, seal it up. Caulk works best on small gaps. Your hardware store should have products to close the larger gaps.
2) Have a professional like Wuensch Construction come out and check your attic ventilation and insulation. Lack of insulation and ventilation will cause ice dams to form and do damage to the interior of your walls and ceiling.
3) Consider replacing your old gas appliances with an ENERGY STAR® water heater or furnace. If your gas water heater is more than 12 years old, consider replacing it with a newer, more efficient model.
4) Make sure all your gutters and down spouts are cleaned out and ready for spring.
5) Clean out your dryer vent. This will make your dryer more efficient and save you money in gas bill.
6) Have a professional heating company tune up your furnace which includes checking out your heat exchanger for cracks that could cause carbon monoxide leaks.
7) Yes it’s easy to forget, but it’s important to replace or clean furnace filters once a month during the heating season. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy demand.
8) If you have an old dial thermostat have it changed out with a new programmable thermostat.
9) If you have ceiling fans make sure you reverse the direction of the blade rotation so it will pull the heat down from the ceiling to the floor – cutting your heat costs down.
10) Unless your outside water spouts are frost proof, make sure you drain them before winter.
11) Turn your hot water heater down to about 120 degrees in the winter this will feel a lot warmer than in the summer and save you money.
12) If you have old drafty windows and doors have a professional like Wuensch Construction come out to give you an estimate on replacing them with energy star rated windows and doors.
13) By insulating your hot water pipes the water in them will stay warmer longer.