In Winter, Those Who Are Proactive Profit The Most

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but in the next few weeks, old man winter will make his annual appearance once again. Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you like winter), with his arrival, snow and cold winds are close to follow.

To prepare for the oncoming winter months, use this time in late fall to find weak areas in your homes thermal shell. (For the sake of clarification, I define “Thermal Shell” as the area around your home that you want to help retain heat. Your walls, windows, doors, ceiling, etc., are all part of your homes thermal shell.) Treat fall as your pre-winter trial season. The temperatures are dropping, but its not
freezing out yet. The winds start blowing, but they aren’t too bitterly cold. And some of you may already have your furnace running, but it probably isn’t costing you a fortune.

All of the previous conditions associated with fall can help you take a proactive approach to preparing for winter. Let the winds reveal areas around your house that need attention, such as windows and doors. Try not to let too much time pass before you take the proper winterization steps. You certainly don’t want to be hit by an unexpected heating bill in the range of several hundred dollars and only then think to yourself, “Maybe I should have prepared for winter a bit sooner.”

Every house is unique, and while case specific solutions might be required, here are some helpful reminders that every home owner or apartment occupant can embrace:

  1. Make sure that your windows are weatherized adequately. This will not only help prevent energy loss, but drafting as well. Drafting, cold air movement, can be a considerable factor in what many people
    view as a discomfort.
  2. Set your thermostat to a reasonable level. According to the Department of Energy, you can save 1% off your energy bill per 1 degree F you reduce your thermostat setting down to a minimum of 68 degrees F.
    So for example, if you keep your house at 77 degrees F, you could save
    7% off your energy bill by reducing the temperature to 70 degrees F. This is a link to the Department of Energy and their homepage for thermostats.
  3. Make use of the natural heat used in your home from appliances and other activities, such as leaving the door to the oven open slightly after you’re done baking (just make sure you shut it off to).
  4. Similar to #1, make sure your doors have adequate weatherstripping to prevent drafting and energy loss.

I hope that you’ll take the time to identify areas of potential energy loss before winter sets in.


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Comment by James Sayers on November 4, 2010 at 1:41pm
Thanks for the well-written article, Nathan.

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