It’s the end of summer and the air is still warm. It may be hard to think about the incoming winter weather when Colorado residents can still go hiking in a pair of shorts and a T-shirt, but now is the time to start weatherizing your home. Putting in the time for energy-efficient weatherization improvements now can save your family time and money once the cold weather begins. Here are six great tips for home weatherization improvements you can make on your own that won’t break the bank.
- Get an audit. A professional home energy audit can tell you exactly where your home could use weatherizing improvements. It is possible to get your home “too tight” which will create a carbon monoxide danger. The Energy Resource Center helps residents of El Paso, Elbert, Douglas, Fremont. Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Saguache, Rio Grande and Teller counties maintain energy efficiency and would be happy to help you weatherize your Colorado home.
Use caulk or weather stripping to seal off drafts. This is one of the most vital ways to increase your Colorado home’s cold weather efficiency. Make sure you keep an eye out for drafts in these key areas:
- Around doorways and windows
- Filtering through cracks in masonry
- Seeping through gaps between the foundation and house
- Hidden in your basement, attic and crawlspace
- Seal heating ducts. The ducts in your home are pumping a lot of warm air around, but you want to make sure that this air is used to its maximum potential. Sealing ducts can help prevent loss of warm air.
- Ramp up insulation in any areas with poor protection from the cold. Your home might have old insulation or maybe you have noticed some rooms never seem to respond to air conditioning or heat. Investing in a DIY home installation of more efficient insulation can dramatically cut energy costs down the road.
- Think about switching to an Energy Star furnace. If you are in the market for a new furnace, look for ones with an Energy Star emblem. These are specifically designed to cut down on the energy needed to heat your home. While that’s not the kind of thing you buy on a whim, it could be an important investment. And the Energy Resource Center can sometimes help income-qualified residents replace their furnaces at a lower cost.
- Keep your flue cover closed. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, make sure you have the flue cover closed whenever you aren’t using it, and make sure the flue closes and seals properly. A lot of warm air can be lost through an open chimney.
If you have questions about weatherizing your home, contact the ERC. Not only can we complete a Colorado home energy audit for your family, but we can also talk to you about general energy efficiency and ways to save on energy bills year round. We provide Colorado utilities assistance for free to income-qualifying families and for a moderate fee to others. Don’t get caught in the cold. Contact us today.