Brace yourselves, Winter is coming!

Do You Have Drafty Windows?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, reducing drafts in a home can result in energy savings that range between 5 and 30 percent per year. Here are some quick and easy DIY fixes for drafty windows that can make a big difference in both your comfort level and your heating bills.

First, you will need to identify the problem. Use a candle and slowly move it around the window frame. At any point where the flame bends or flickers use a small sticky note to mark the spot so you can come back and seal it.

Solutions for every budget:

  • Draft Snake: purchase or make a draft snake to prevent warm air from escaping or cold air from entering around window sills and under doors.
  • Bubble Wrap: If you don’t need to open a window all winter, use bubble wrap to seal it. You can buy bubble wrap by the roll and cut it to fit any window. Use double-sided tape to keep the plastic in place.
  • Caulk: Window caulking is one of the first lines of defense against cold air, but it can develop cracks or gaps over time. Seal small cracks by adding a new layer of caulk or by adding rope caulk, which can be molded into the cracks. If there are large gaps or cracks, remove the old caulk and replace it.
  • Weatherstripping: Repair, replace, or add weatherstripping around windows and doors. Choose from self-stick rubber weatherstripping, sold in rolls; felt weatherstripping, sold in sheets; V-seal weather stripping, sold in both plastic and spring-metal versions; or expandable spray foam weatherstripping, sold in aerosol cans.
  • Plastic Insulation: Apply plastic shrink film to the indoor window frame with double-sided tape, then heat the plastic with a blow dryer to shrink the film and remove wrinkles.
  • Insulated Window Treatments: Seasonally swap out your lightweight curtains for insulating window treatments. Opt for heavy draperies or layered curtains; honeycomb shades, which trap air between layers of fabric to provide insulation; or Roman shades.
  • Interior Storm Windows: As an alternative to storm windows, Plexiglass or clear acrylic panels can be secured with screws in the corners of the window frame.

Andy’s Helpful Tips!

Winter Home Maintenance Reminders:

During the winter months especially, there are numerous items in your home that need to be maintained. Below is a list of the most common winter maintenance items which should be checked each season.

  • Winterize outside sprinklers, hoses and faucets
  • Have your lawn-irrigation system professionally drained
  • Check the water hoses on the washer, refrigerator icemaker, and dishwasher for cracks and bubbles
  • Store firewood at least 30 feet away from your home
  • Reverse your ceiling fans so that they are rotating in a clockwise direction once you have turned on your heat
  • Check the attic for adequate ventilation
  • Check your roof for damaged, loose, or missing shingles; as well as, breaks in the flashing seals around vent stacks and chimneys
  • Insulate pipes in your home’s crawl space and attic
  • Check outdoor lighting fixtures, replace bulbs

If you need assistance or just don’t have the time to get the job done, contact ANDY ONCALL®!

Energy Efficiency

There are many things you can do around the house to save money and energy all year long.

  1. TURN IT OFF: Don’t leave the video game on pause, or the computer in sleep mode. Those electronics are still using energy, even when you are not using them. You can make it easy to turn off all those home electronics like TVs, DVD players, computers and more. Simply plug them into power strips, and then turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use. Fully shut down all computers and electronics before doing this, however.
  2. Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs: Replacing 25% of the lights in your high-traffic areas with compact fluorescent light bulbs can save you about 50% on your lighting expenses.
  3. ENERGY STAR: ENERGY STAR qualified appliances use 10% – 50% less energy and water than standard models. Reduce your electric bill $75 a year just by switching to an ENERGY STAR washing machine.
  4. Heating: Weather-stripping drafty doors and windows can reduce your heating bill by 10%.
  5. Water Heater: An easy way to manage energy costs and save money year round is to turn your water heater down to 120 degrees.

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