It’s a good idea to check the insulation in your house to make sure that you aren’t wasting heat and money this winter. Inspect all your windows, doors, walls, floors and attic for any air leaks that could allow a cold draft into the house. Once you’ve assessed these areas, it’s time to seal and insulate your house. Ambit Energy gathered a few simple, cost-effective ways to help keep your house warm and efficient this season.
There are many easy ways to insulate your windows. First, you can replace your lighter summer curtains with thick curtains made of velvet or heavy linen to create a barrier against radiant cold. For some extra warmth, try installing cellular shades also known as honeycomb shades. These window shades are made with folds of fabric that help insulate the windows through multiple layers. And finally, caulk both the inside and outside of your windows. These steps will protect your house from losing heat.
One simple way to block out cold air from coming through doors is weather stripping. Weather stripping is the process of sealing openings, such as doors and windows, from outside elements. There are many different types of weather stripping materials including felt, foam tape, vinyl and silicone. Essentially all the different materials will help keep in the heat, but depending on the door or window type and price point, you may choose one over the other.
When insulating homes, many people tend to forget about their floors and chimneys. Wooden and tile floors radiate the cold from foundations or crawl spaces. So, try putting a rug or blanket on the floor to prevent the cold from penetrating. If you are not using your fireplace, install a chimney balloon or cap. A chimney balloon is placed inside the chimney hole and a chimney cap is placed at the top of a chimney to block drafts. Both will keep out any cold air and retain heat. But don’t forget to remove it when you decide to use the fireplace!
By wrapping your entire house with the proper insulating material, you can lower your heating costs significantly. Kits and do-it-yourself guides can be found with simple internet searches. Some of the most commonly used and affordable insulation materials are fiberglass, cellulose and polyurethane foam.
When selecting insulation material it’s important to look at its R-value. R-value is the insulation material’s ability to resist transfer of heat. The higher the R-value the more insulation power, and that means you’re getting the best insulation for every dollar spent.
Stay warm with these easy ways to keep your house cozy and efficient all winter long. For more seasonal tips, check out our energy saving advice for the winter season.