(Image credit – Flickr- Helmers)
Today my pal Eric from NW Solid Real Estate is back at it with some home maintenance advice! If you’re like me, you enjoy a lower monthly heating bill now that the temperatures are warming up! (Or, sort of, anyhow.) Here are some tips Eric has for how you can extend that savings through to wintertime by making some small home repairs.
One of the great benefits of summertime is a reduced monthly heating bill. It’s also a great time to repair any pesky air leaks in your house which can contribute to a high heating bill in the wintertime. Air leaks can waste a lot of your energy dollars. One of the quickest energy- and money-saving tasks you can do is caulk, seal, and weather strip all seams, cracks, and openings to the outside.
Here are some simple steps for improving the energy efficiency of your home by sealing air leaks:
Tips for Sealing Air Leaks
- Test your home for air tightness. On a windy day, carefully hold a lit incense stick or a smoke pen next to your windows, doors, electrical boxes, plumbing fixtures, electrical outlets, ceiling fixtures, attic hatches, and other places where air may leak. If the smoke stream travels horizontally, you have located an air leak that may need caulking, sealing, or weatherstripping.
- Caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows that leak air.
- Caulk and seal air leaks where plumbing, ducting, or electrical wiring comes through walls, floors, ceilings, and soffits over cabinets.
- Install foam gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on walls.
- Inspect dirty spots in your insulation for air leaks and mold. Seal leaks with low-expansion spray foam made for this purpose and install house flashing if needed.
- Look for dirty spots on your ceiling paint and carpet, which may indicate air leaks at interior wall/ceiling joints and wall/floor joists, and caulk them.
- Cover single-pane windows with storm windows or replace them with more efficient double-pane low- emissivity windows. Consult with a qualified licensed contractor to ensure proper installation.
- Use foam sealant on larger gaps around windows, baseboards, and other places where air may leak out.
- Cover your kitchen exhaust fan to stop air leaks when not in use.
- Check your dryer vent to be sure it is not blocked. This will save energy and may prevent a fire.
- Replace door bottoms and thresholds with ones that have pliable sealing gaskets.
- Keep the fireplace flue damper tightly closed when not in use.
- Seal air leaks around fireplace chimneys, furnaces, and gas-fired water heater vents with fire-resistant materials such as sheet metal or sheetrock and furnace cement caulk.
You may wish to add these to your annual summer maintenance “to do” list to make sure your home’s energy bill isn’t any higher than it needs to be! For a couple other money-saving improvements you can easily make, check out the videos we shared here at The Coupon Project on Installing a Home Dimmer Switch and Installing a Programmable Thermostat.
What other home maintenance tasks do you like to take care of in the summer? Any other home repairs/DIY videos you’d like to see NW Solid Rock put together?
Note from Angela: Would you all do me a huge favor for my pals at NW Solid Rock Construction? They are applying for a $250,000 Mission: Small Business Grant from Chase & Living Social that would mean everything for their business! They need to reach 250 Facebook votes to be eligible to apply by June 30th, and currently need about 75 more – every one counts at this point. Please head to Mission: Small Business, Log in & Support through Facebook, and search for “Northwest Solid Rock” and vote! I’d love to see them reach their goal today! They’ve been such a fabulous sponsor & supporter of The Coupon Project and they could really use YOUR help. Thanks, Friends!