Tips for winterizing your home

Tips for winterizing your home

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Soon it'll be more than just sweater weather outside, so now is the time to prepare for cooler temps.  But have you thought about how to get your wallet ready for extra costs?  We've got some tips to help you keep more cash in your pocket as the weather gets colder.

The Department of Energy expects the price of natural gas to increase a whopping 13 percent over last year's rates.  If you use electricity, you should expect a 2 percent increase in heating costs.  

Every home has holes or cracks where the air escapes, and ultimately, so does your money.  Don Cottrell of Arbor Insulation Solutions specializes in finding holes in homes.  He says the key to making your house energy efficient is finding those points and fixing them.  

Cottrell says one place homeowners rarely think about is the draft at the tops and bottoms of their windows.  He says painters often caulk the left and right sides of the window, but sometimes miss the hard-to-reach tops and the bottoms, allowing air to come through.  According to Cottrell, simply caulking those missed spots will greatly reduce airflow.

Then, check all your pipes under your sinks.  You'll probably find more holes, and they need to be fixed.  If you have an attic, Cottrell says you've got a major energy drain.  He suggests an attic access tent which can be flipped back for access, but greatly reduces the exfiltration of the house because it zips up the hole.  

Cottrell says you should have your furnace checked before turning it on, and once again look for any place that air is escaping around the ducts.  He says not sealing the home means practically giving money to energy companies.  

An attic tent can be found at any of the big box home improvement stores near you, and it'll run you between $150 and $300.  If you call around, you may be able to find a company that will install it for you for the same price or less.

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