All too often, the cold winter chill sets into our homes because of fireplaces, drafty attics, open vents and window. This creates tons of wasted energy and can end up costing us a fortune on high energy bills. However, fixing the problem to these drafty areas can save us both energy and money.
Here are some techniques to easily and inexpensively insulate and seal up those problem areas:
When installing attic stairs, there is a large hole created that causes a draft. At night, turn on the light in your attic and close the door. Then look up at the attic from below to see how much light you can see. This is how much draft you have. To fix the problem, purchase an insulated attic stair cover. This will seal the stairs and stop all drafts, saving you money and energy.
Over 100 million homes in North America alone are built with wood or gas-burning fireplaces. Studies have shown that open fireplace dampers on an unused fireplace, even on a well-insulated house, can raise your heating costs by 30%. This could be an average of $500 or more per winter just because of your fireplace.
In many homes, the clothes dryer is located in the coldest room of the house. Your dryer is connected to an exhaust duct that is open to the outdoors and, in the winter, this allows very cold drafts to seep through the duct and into your home. A low-cost solution to this problem is to purchase a dryer vent seal. A vent seal will help reduce drafts and also keep unwanted pests such as rodents and bees from entering your home. The vent will keep closed when the dryer is not in use and open when in use by allowing a floating shuttle to rise, allowing warm air, lint and moisture to escape the vent.
Windows are another big culprit of energy loss, especially the single-pane windows that many U.S. homes have. If your home has single-pane windows, consider replacing them with double-pane windows to save energy and money.