With rising energy costs, keeping your home warm in winter seems to get harder and harder every year. Yet there's no reason to settle for a cold home, so long as you implement a few energy-saving tactics. If you're worried about keeping your home's energy bill down, read on. This article will introduce three simple tips for heating your home more efficiently.
Evaluate Your Weatherstripping
When it comes to heat loss, windows and doors are perhaps the single largest culprit. In fact, it has been estimated that between 7 and 12 percent of heat loss occurs because of drafts around doors and windows. By ensuring a tighter seal and thus reducing air flow, weatherstripping is the simplest and most economical way to reduce this problem.
Yet even if your home is already equipped with weatherstripping, it may not be doing its job as well as it should. Regardless of what material your weatherstripping is made from, wear and tear will reduce its efficiency. Therefore it is important to evaluate your weatherstripping on a yearly basis and replace any that does not seem to be doing its job.
Adjust Your Threshold
Although weatherstripping is your most powerful ally in combating drafts, some gaps are simply too large to be treated in this manner. This is especially true where thresholds are concerned. If you're able to see daylight through the crack beneath your door, chances are that you need to adjust the height of your threshold.
Most newer thresholds comes equipped with four or five screws that can be used to adjust its height. You should be able to clearly see these screws when the door is open, though in some cases they will be protected by decorative caps. After prying these off, rotate the screws counterclockwise to raise the threshold to the desired height.
Insulate Your Electric Outlets
Believe it or not, those innocent little electrical outlets in all of your rooms can allow cold air to find its way into your home nearly unimpeded--especially when the outlets are located on exterior walls. In that case, the only thing standing between the cold air inside of the wall and your warm room is the outlet's thin plastic faceplate.
Luckily, this problem is an easy and inexpensive one to correct. Simply remove the faceplate and fill any visible gaps using latex caulk. If the gaps are too large to address with caulk, employ an insulating spray foam instead. Then fit an appropriately sized insulating foam strip around the outlet and replace the faceplate. Now you've got an effective barrier against unwanted drafts.
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