How to save on your heating bill without touching the thermostat

September 25th, 2015 by admin

As thermometers fall this autumn, homeowners will start to switch on their heat. Whether you heat your home with oil, gas or a wood stove, heating a home can get costly, especially as temperatures plummet in the winter. While you can't change the weather, you can reduce your home heating costs by sealing up costly cracks or loose seals that let heat escape. 

Before you can take any action to winterize your home, you must first find the leaks that are letting your heat escape. While some of these leaks, such as under-the-door drafts, may be obvious, others will take a bit of scrutiny to detect. A good starting point is to inspect areas where two different materials meet, such as between brick and wood siding, between foundation and walls and between the chimney and siding. Additionally, check for gaps around door frames, window panes, mail chutes and cable, phone, electrical or gas entrances.

One way to tell if these areas are leaking air is to shut a door or window on a piece of paper. If you can pull it out without tearing it, the gap is probably large enough that you're losing energy from it. If you suspect a leak somewhere that doesn't open or close, you can hold a candle near the seal. if the flame flickers near a specific location, its responding to the movement of leaking air. Always be careful to clear the area of curtains or any other flammable material before using this method. 

After you have found the source of a draft, it's time to seal it up. There are two good options for weatherizing your home: caulking and weatherstripping. You can use a caulking compound to seal leaks in a variety of places throughout your home, including around windows and door frames. In addition to plugging air leaks, caulking is waterproof, so it can also prevent water damage inside and outside of the home when applied around faucets, water pipes, drains and other plumbing fixtures. 

If you're trying to seal a leak around a movable joint, such as a window or door, turn to weatherstripping. Because it moves and is exposed to the elements along with the joint, you will need to choose weatherstripping that will withstand the friction, weather, temperature changes and wear and tear associated with its location. For example, weatherstripping at the bottom of a door needs to be durable to prevent it from eroding as it slides across the floor every day. The weatherstripping you choose should seal well when the door or window is closed while still allowing it to open freely.

Contact Fundy Mutual today for a free homeowners insurance quote from one of our qualified home insurance brokers