Colorado is known for her harsh winters. Sub-zero temperatures, sheets of ice, and several feet of snow can be the norm from October until April. This Colorado weather can become prohibitively expensive for many families as they try to stay safe and warm in their homes. Taking several steps in and around a home can help you stay warm and save money.
Weatherizing your home is an excellent way to keep your home warm, and involves actions that you can take on your own. Weatherizing simply means taking measures to keep your home resistant to cold. Finding where cold air seeps into your home and where warm air seeps out of your home is vital in weatherization.
Windows are a prime source of both cold air coming in and warm air leaving your home. Taking measures to lessen this escape with windows will make a tangible difference with your weatherization. If possible, covering your windows with a clear plastic film can help prevent heat from escaping. Caulking or weatherstripping around each window will help with cold air coming in. Even heavy draperies can help save up to 10% of heat from escaping through drafty windows. Keep them pulled anytime that the windows are not receiving direct sun.
Furnace and Fireplace
If you use your fireplace, have it inspected on a regular basis. This both ensures that it works effectively and safely. If you don’t ever use your fireplace, see about having it plugged, along with having the damper closed. Have your furnace inspected to make sure it is functioning properly. Change air filters monthly. Dirty air filters will prevent your furnace from doing its job well.
Make sure that your thermostat is working with you and not against you. If you have a programmable thermostat, use it. For periods when you are away from home, you can lower it by about ten degrees. This won’t put your home into a dangerously cold range, but it is enough to impact your monthly bills. Your home can also be several degrees cooler overnight, when everyone tends to be snug under blankets and comforters. Keep it as low as comfortably possible while you are in the home. If it is time to replace your thermostat, think about getting a smart thermostat, which can be programmed from your smartphone or your tablet.
Look for air leaks all around your home. Cutouts around pipes, behind electrical outlets, and around doors or windows are common places that need sealing. Follow recommendations about sealing these leaks through caulking or weatherstripping, or have someone who is qualified seal the leaks. Look around the exterior of your home too, including roof overhangs and dryer vents. Some air leaks may not be visible from the interior, so remembering to check the exterior will catch most of the gaps.
These simple steps are a great start to weatherizing your home against Colorado winters. If you wish to go further with making your home energy efficient, set up an appointment to have a home energy audit. An audit will go one step further in determining how to make your home as warm and energy-efficient as possible!