Weatherize for Winter While the Sun is Shining
It’s officially summertime. The last thing on your mind is the long, hard winter ahead. But a little preparation now to improve your energy efficiency can save you a lot of potential headaches when the cold winds start to blow later this year.
Here are some tips on what you can do now to save time, money, and hassle—and most importantly, energy—once winter returns:
- Seal those pesky air leaks in your house, and consider adding better insulation if yours is outdated. Use caulk, spray foam, or weather stripping and be sure to install it properly. This is a cost-efficient way to save energy and money (about 10 percent of total energy costs if done right).
- Put in door sweeps on your house doors and weather stops on your garage door. These basically close the opening between the doors and the floor—a major escape route for warm air in the winter.
- When the weather starts to change, switch out your screens for storm windows. The second layer of glass creates great insulation during the cold winter months.
- If you have a fireplace, but don’t have a fireplace damper, be sure to install one. This device serves the same purpose as door sweeps and weather stops—it seals a natural escape route for heat by closing your fireplace when not in use.
- If you don’t already have one, get a programmable thermostat and keep it set at or below 68 degrees once the cold weather hits. A programmable thermostat can reduce your energy use and help you save as much as a couple of hundred bucks a year.
- Make sure to change your air filter regularly—especially right before winter begins. A clean air filter helps your whole system run more smoothly, saving energy and putting less pressure on your system, the grid—and your checkbook.
- Around the exterior of your home, caulk around anything that exposes your home to the outside air. That includes any places where “electrical, telephone, cable, gas, dryer vents, and water lines” enter the home—even around window or door frames.
At the Alliance for Michigan power, we talk a lot about “smart energy policy.” Weatherizing your house now—while it’s warm and much easy to get things done—is smart personal energy policy for your household.
Read more about what you can do to around the house now to help prepare for another winter.
Have questions about the energy issues that matter to you? Give us a shout!