Seven Ways to Stop Home Heat Loss
Instead of getting mad at the heating company this winter, look into ways to make your home more heat-efficient. Here are seven things you can do to stretch your heating budget.
Find the leaks. Professionals use high-tech methods like blower testing and infrared thermography to pinpoint heat leaks, but a smoldering incense stick can often find major leaks for less. The smoke follows drafts to their source – an improperly sealed window, drafty door or gaping chimney.
Weather-strip doors. You can’t stay inside all winter, but you can easily and affordably improve the door's seal with weather-stripping.
Stop fireplace heat loss. Install an inflatable draft stopper when your fireplace is not in use to stop heat loss through your chimney.
Upgrade the dryer vent. A modern plastic dryer vent seal uses a floating shuttle to stop airflow when the dryer is not in use.
Insulate the basement. First, check for cracks in brick, concrete or stone basement walls, and make repairs with premixed cement or other filler. For a real improvement, install fiberglass insulation along the exterior walls.
Seal windows. Caulk drafty windows outside and apply plastic on the inside. Replace window screens with glass, which insulates better. Add insulating blinds. If you live in an older house, consider upgrading old single-pane windows to more efficient thermal windows.
Turn the thermostat down. Set the temperature a little lower at night and when you're away. Or, better yet, install a programmable thermostat. For less than $100 and an hour or two of installation, you can save on your next heating bill.
While you make improvements to your home to improve its heat efficiency, remember to keep it protected with homeowners insurance from Nationwide.