5 Tips for Preparing Your Home for the Cold Weather
Homeowners can stay warmer have increased comfort this winter by having a home energy audit, checking caulking around windows, installing glass doors on the fireplace, changing to a programmable thermostat, and planting protective trees around the home.
CLEVELAND – Sep. 22, 2010 –Today officially marks the start of fall, and that means winter — with its snow, ice, and chillin’-to-the-bone wind chill factors — is just around the corner. Here are five tips to help your family be warmer and cozier at home despite Mother Nature.
At the top of the list is to have a professional energy audit. According to the U.S. Dept. of Energy, an energy audit is the “first step to assess how much energy your home consumes and to evaluate what measures you can take to make your home more energy efficient.” For homeowners experiencing difficulty heating or cooling rooms, poor indoor air quality or excessive energy bills, then these are signs an energy audit is needed. Through the use of a blower door and infrared camera technology, a trained energy auditor can look behind the walls and ceilings to pinpoint where conditioned air is “leaking” out of the home. Following the energy audit, homeowners should receive a list of prioritized, recommended improvements to solve any comfort and excessive energy usage issues.
“Too many homeowners assume new windows, more insulation or an upgraded furnace will solve their home’s comfort issues and high utility bills,” said Pro Energy Consultants Chief Technical Officer Mark Cannella, who has personally performed more than 10,000 energy audits since 1995. “The very first step is to always start with a home energy audit. It removes all the guesswork.”
Another tip is to check the caulking around windows and make sure they’re sealed properly to prevent drafts. According to Cannella, that’s typically the issue with windows.
Third, glass doors and fireplace covers are ways to reduce heat loss from a fireplace. Both products are designed to reduce airflow, and thus heat loss, up the chimney. How much energy a glass door saves depends on how it’s used. Burning with the doors open is the same as not having a door at all. Closing the door during the burn allows for better control of the fire, but reduces the amount of radiant heat transfer into the room from the fire.
Fourth, switch to a programmable thermostat. It allows homeowners to pre-set temperatures to match the family's comfort needs and hectic schedules for every day of the week to match activities — whether the family’s home, vacationing, having friends over, or simply spending a quiet evening in front of the fireplace.
And finally, planting trees and shrubs around the home to protect it from the wind can reduce winter heating costs naturally. This will lower the wind chill around the house. There are many kinds of protective trees grow, and some grow better in particular climates, but a general rule of thumb is to plant evergreens and shrubs on the north and northwest side of the home for the best protection from winter winds. To take full advantage of the sun’s warmth in winter, avoid planting evergreens on the south side of the home.
For more information, call 888-9PROENERGY (1-888-977-6363), or visit http://www.proenergyconsultants.com
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About Pro Energy Consultants
Pro Energy Consultants’ proven system for conducting energy audits is backed by more than 15 years’ experience and more than 11,000 energy audits. The company’s mission is to provide customized, comprehensive and diagnostic energy audits designed to maximize the comfort and energy efficiency of homes and “light” commercial buildings while reducing energy costs. This mission not only sets the worldwide standard for energy audits but also established Pro Energy as the world’s leading expert on the subject. In October 2008 Pro Energy began awarding franchises — making it the first national franchise in energy auditing. Being the ideal “green franchise” opportunity, it has quickly grown to more than 60 franchises nationwide. The company started in Cleveland, Ohio. For more information, call 888.9PROENERGY (1-888-977-6363) or visit www.proenergyconsultants.com.