DIVIDENDS ALL YEAR
M ost people only think of addressing these problems when winter is approaching, but weatherizing your home is a good way to save money and energy all year long. In fact, the efficiency gained by weatherizing can offset the up-front cost of weatherizing materials in just one year.
The two primary routes by which heat escapes your home in winter—and enters during the summer—are openings in and around walls, windows, and doors, and poorly insulated surfaces.
Since even small cracks and openings in walls can have the same effect on your home's energy efficiency as leaving a window open, sealing every opening is critical. It’s also easy and inexpensive.
Insulation prevents the transfer of heat from heated areas of your home to unheated areas. Exterior walls are the most commonly insulated part of a home, but there are other areas where insulation is beneficial:
Floors and ceilings. The attic is a major source of winter heat loss (and summer heat gain), so insulating the attic floor will help make rooms below the attic more comfortable. By the same token, insulating basement and garage ceilings will benefit the rooms above those spaces.
Windows. If you don’t have storm windows, install plastic film on the inside of your window panes. Curtains and blinds can also help prevent heat transfer; keep them closed on winter nights and hot summer days.
Heating systems. Add insulation around your water heater and around hot water pipes and heating ducts located in unheated spaces.
Provided by: Union of Concerned Scientists
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