How to Weatherproof Your Home
Each season brings us different household issues to deal with. When it’s rainy or incredibly cold, your basement could get flooded. During the hot or humid weather, the AC needs to work double time to keep your interiors cool. But many homeowners miss the fact that they need to adequately weatherproof their homes to avoid such awful conditions, which in the long run, could cause more complicated and expensive consequences.
In the same way, when a house is exposed and left unprotected against the ravages of severe weather, it can get flooded which can weaken the structural foundation of the building and become home to mold and mildew. Simply said, the lack of weatherproofing can breed other complicated conditions, cause utter inconvenience and discomfort and even expose your family towards sicknesses. Importantly, without weatherproofing, you could suffer from costly utility and your home can go down in value.
Tips to Weatherproof Your Home For Every Season
Are you ready to weatherproof your home? Here are the best steps to take in every area of your house to make sure the entire abode is energy-efficient, safe and secured all throughout the year.
Upgrade Your Windows
Windows are some of the most popular points for drafts and leaks, especially if your home still has some of those old single-paned windows. Older windows aren’t as energy-efficient and can make your home interiors feel uncomfortable.
Considering a windows upgrade can be one of the best decisions you make for your home, particularly if you figured your old windows led to unnecessary energy losses. There are a lot of factors that contribute to the windows’ wear and tear such as your location, type of windows and the local weather in your area.
Upgrading your windows can be a major expense since the materials and labor aren’t cheap. Get a professional to look at your windows and ask for an estimate. The expense of such upgrade will pay for itself in the long run, especially when you start enjoying the savings from reduced utility bills.
Shade Your Windows
Shading your windows against heat gain can improve the indoor atmosphere as well as help reduce your utility costs. In summer, shading becomes increasingly important, especially in areas where windows are directly exposed to sunlight. Insufficiently weatherproofed windows can lead to loss of cool air and entry of humid air into your home.
Natural shade providers like trees and shrubs can also provide excellent insulation to your windows. When done right, trees and shrubs can provide great shade in the summer and help in filtering the air. Deciduous trees are the best option because they shed leaves in the winter and allow some sunlight to enter your home.
Weather Strip Under Doors
Over time, doors lose their ability to insulate which results in the entry of chilly winter breeze or escape of precious warm air. Thankfully, weather-stripping is a low-cost and easy fix to drafty doors.
The bottom of the door is a very likely place for air leaks. Most doors do come with readily installed weather-stripping, but time and neglect can cause wear and tear. First, make sure to check whether you can adjust the weather-stripping tool to close the gap. Often, this simple exercise solves the issue.
Awning On Patios
Putting up awnings on your patio is a wise investment as far as aesthetics, enhanced curb appeal and energy savings go. At times when summer becomes horridly hot, exposing your home to the sun becomes a problem. Not only does the extra warm temperature make you feel uncomfortable, but it also increases the opportunity for heat gains which can turn into financial losses if not correctly addressed.
Properly-located awnings in your patio can catch most of the sun’s wrath instead of your walls and windows getting directly exposed. And now that you abode feels cooler in the summer, you can pocket as much as 23% of your yearly cooling expenses.
It’s also better to invest in retractable awnings because you have the option to retract during winter and let some sunlight come in. That means you get to have the sun or not, depending on the season.
Add Insulation to the Attic
One of the best ways to keep your home green as well as reap some savings from your heating and cooling costs is insulating the attic. In fact, if it’s difficult or impossible for you to insulate the entirety of your home due to certain constraints, the attic is one place you shouldn’t miss.
You need to consider what material to use for insulation. You basically have two options: blanket insulation or loose fill. You can use either material to add another layer of insulation over the existing one or build a brand new layer.
Loose fill insulation is made of fibers which you can stuff to gaps and leaks. This insulation material is best for irregular joist spacing. On the other hand, blanket insulation or batts, are often packaged as rolls which are available in varying thickness. Batts are ideal for attics with uniform joist spacing and those with minor obstructions. Depending on the kind condition of your attic, you can use these materials make your attic more energy-efficient.
Clean Cooling Devices
Your cooling devices are essential to creating a more comfortable living space during summer. Cleaning them regularly not only improves performance, it also helps you save money and keep indoor air clean and healthy.
Ceiling fans accumulate dirt and grime over the course of season. Using a dirty ceiling fan spreads out dirt into the atmosphere and possibly causes health risks. Also, a filthy fan uses more power than necessary to keep it turning.
Take the time to clean your AC system too. Remove the now clean AC, wrap it with plastic or any durable covering to prevent dirt and dust build-up. By the time you need the AC in summer, it’s already clean and in optimum running condition.
Install New Outlets
Another often neglected area where gaps and leaks abound is your power outlets. You might notice it, but your electrical boxes may have small holes where air can leave or enter, creating an invisible draft inside your home. And if all your electric outlets have these seemingly small holes, the problem compounds to a larger one.
If you’re certain that your outlets do have leakages, you need to turn the main switch off before proceeding with insulation. After which, you can use a foam gasket to insulate the surrounding of the outlet and prevent air from coming out and going in. This is a basic, cheap yet effective way to ensure all outlets are adequately weather-proofed.
Get A Programmable Thermostat
Another great way to ensure that your home doesn’t unnecessarily waste energy is to invest on a programmable thermostat. This modern innovation allows you to pre-program a temperature at pre-determined time. Therefore, if you want to enter you’re a warm and toasty home during a cold winter night, you just need to set the temp and time and you’re guaranteed this greeting even when you’re away during the day.
A programmable thermostat allows you to adjust the interior home temperature according to your family’s needs. You can bring the temperature five degrees up during summer and five degrees down during winter and see the difference on your utility bill. This also allows you to save roughly two per cent on your utility usage, translating to some savings to your pocket.
Weather-proofing your home should not be considered as a chore, even if it can take time to insulate the various areas mentioned above. It should be treated as a necessity which you need to perform during different seasons to ensure the safety of your family, integrity of the structures power-efficiency.
Properly weather-proofed homes are safer to live in because they have cleaner indoor air. Such homes are also more comfortable because temperature is more controlled. Also, you’d want to stay in an insulated home because you wouldn’t have to pay as much in utility bills than in one that is not.
Cary Silverman is a consummate entrepreneur having sold multiple companies during his 20 years of business experience in the financial industry, but for him, it isn’t about the money. His success is rooted in his passion to focus on doing something better today than it was done yesterday. These days, he’s the CEO of Waldo General, Inc. that oversees the operation of King of Kash.