Winter weatherizing your home

Getting homes ready for winter

CINCINNATI - Sara Bourgeois is looking for cracks to seal.  The kind not only found under the kitchen sink but along window sills, doors and even the walls. 

"When I first moved in there was this much insulation in the attic, so I added a lot more and that's definitely helped. I went to the basement, looked around and sealed all the duct work," said Sara.

From the outside, siding, chimney walls and windows often give a false reading to your home's winterization needs. 

Steve Creed is an energy expert with People Working Cooperatively . He says a simple test using a blower door device can show just how much warm air is seeping out, allowing cold air to get in. Then other assessments can be made.

"I know a lot of people forget the furnace down in the basement," said Creed. "It's out of sight, they don't look at it. But one of the most important things you can do is keep your furnace filter clean.  It makes the furnace run more efficiently. It lasts longer, it'll heat better."

And to make good use of that heat, remember to keep thermostats set around 70 degrees and turned down when not at home. The fireplace may look good but without a well fitting damper it can drain heat from your home just like a leaky window. The remedy? Caulking.

"You can use it around your windows, your doors, anywhere you have a gap where air is leaking. Cut the tube, squeeze the gun where you want to seal the whole," said Creed.

Here are a few other winter weatherizing tips.

  • Use weather-stripping around windows and doors to keep the cold air out.
  • Put plastic around old drafty windows.
  • In addition to caulking, seal holes in walls or near pipes with expanding foam.
  • Hang insulated drapes during the winter.
  • Overall, make sure your entire home is properly insulated.

If you're not sure how your home will hold up to winter, contact your local utility provider or People Working Cooperatively at http://www.pwchomerepairs.org/ to find out what kind of programs they may have to assist you.
 

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