Thursday, December 01, 2011

Winterize your home

Lately, we've been watching the news about solar flares and cme's and their effects on our world's climate. Since solar flares come around every eleven years, and this year is one of them, expect turbulent weather ahead.

This winter is expected to be another cold one, and it is good to be prepared. If you own a home and live in the northern regions, here are some inexpensive and easy tips to prepare for the winter. This is what we did:

1) We bought a temperature measuring device (General Infrared Thermometer) from the hardware store that you aim at the wall or area and it will set off a little beam that measures the temperature and gives you a digital reading. It was very easy to use. We did that throughout the house and found areas around the basement, doors and windows that were showing lower readings than in other areas. We promptly sealed them with caulking. We retested the areas and found the temperature had risen by 2-4 degrees from our caulking efforts. So our efforts paid off.

2) We also bought foam insulation for wall outlets. The wall outlets were also a source of cold air. The foam insulation is shaped like the wall outlet. You just unscrew the cover and place those inside and screw back the cover. Our temperature readings rose after we did that.

3) Curtains - there are curtains now available that are designed to help in energy costs. Use them around the house to keep drafts out (if you haven't caulked your windows).

4) Get the spray caulking foam to caulk underneath sinks, especially those that face the outside walls.

5) If you plan to leave your home for the holidays, make sure you leave the thermostat on between 55-60 degrees, and open your cabinets that lead to your sink (allows the warmer air to infiltrate the piping underneath the sink).

Larger projects - if you haven't done so, installing energy star double or triple pane windows, or adding more insulation to the attic will also help in keeping your house warm and lowering energy bills in the future.

Stay warm, stay safe.

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