Winterizing In The Midwest

Winter is coming, and that means it’s time to do some home maintenance to maximize energy efficiency with some simple quick fixes to keep your house warm, and reduce energy bills.  While a home energy audit is effective in maximizing the potential of your energy system, we are going to go over some simple DIY projects for your windows and doors that are inexpensive, easy to do, and can keep you cozy on a budget.

Winterizing in the Midwest
The first energy wasting culprit is wind draft, and there are some simple actions you can take to minimize this in your home this year.   The first is to get a set of draft stoppers for your doors.  These are simple cushions that go beneath your door to keep the heat in, and the cold out.   Draft stoppers should be installed on any door that is exposed to the outside elements, and can be picked up at your local hardware store for about 15 dollars per door.  If you don’t want to spend money for the official draft stoppers, you can roll up a towel and place it under the door to block the wind for a similar effect.

Installing storm doors and windows can increase your energy efficiency up to 45%, and is ideal for maximum window efficiency.  Efficient windows and doors often offer a tax credit, which is a nice bonus.

If you’re looking for a much cheaper solution, pick up a window insulation kit at your local hardware store.  This will protect against wind draft, as well as retain heat within your home.  A properly installed window insulator is invisible, and can be implemented for as little as 5 dollars per window making it a popular winter accessory.  If you want to go the extra mile, you can hire a professional to install a more advanced “low-e” film to your window, which will further increase efficiency.

For houses with outdated windows, you may want to consider protecting from leaks with caulking and weather stripping.  Even a small leak can drain efficiency between 5-30%, so it is important to make sure the windows are sealed properly.   This is another easy to do, and inexpensive fix that can save you a lot of energy this winter.

After you’ve sealed your windows and doors to guard from wind draft, there are some additional cost-free methods you can use in your home to help keep warm on a budget.  Start by ensuring your ceiling fans are going in a clockwise direction.  This will push hot air along the ceiling towards the floor, providing a warming effect.  Make sure to clean your gutters to reduce icicles formation.  You can also save up to 3% energy for every degree you turn down on your thermostat, so make sure to keep it as low as possible, especially at night.  Making these simple adjustments to your home can keep you warm this winter on a budget.