Here are some energy-saving tips for your home
BY BRAVETTA HASSELL World Scene Writer
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
1/22/13 at 7:29 AM
Before we know it, spring will be here. But for now, we're in store for more brisk days and nights, to put it lightly.
Whether you've been putting off those window replacements or have only recently discovered you might need some, Scott Burnett, owner of Burnett Inc. Windows and Siding, offers relatively inexpensive temporary fixes to keep you and your family warm during the balance of this winter.
He notes that investing in longer-term solutions, such as energy-efficient windows, will be most effective, but here are some short-term ideas.
Put up plastic: There are a variety of indoor window-insulator kits that are user-friendly, from 3M to Duck Brand and others. In all cases, you're putting a second barrier between your cozy home and the outdoors using the double-sided tape provided and the plastic film that will act as the barrier. If you're making your own kit, Burnett recommends Visqueen plastic, which comes in a range of thicknesses. The thicker the plastic, the less transparent the plastic will be.
The plastic insulation should keep the cold air from coming into the house through your windows. "That can be somewhat effective," Burnett said.
Take a look at your weather stripping: Burnett said many times a necessary fix involves reapplying weather stripping on your entry door or doors. It's especially important for wood doors prone to contract and expand.
Check those sockets: Electrical outlets are one of the forgotten places energy can seep out of your home. It's a small fix with minimal returns but doesn't hurt. You're placing an insulating pad (you can purchase them from a local hardware store) between the outlet's cover plate and the wall.
Check caulking: "You might have a nice window in there, but if it's not sealed up well, then you can have air coming in around your window," Burnett said. When you talk about caulking jobs, it's work that you typically set out to do when the weather is warm. But that doesn't mean you have to wait until spring to address a problem happening right now. Talk to a hardware store employee about what caulking can be applied in cold weather. Whatever the case, caulking should be rubber or silicon-based.
Make sure the attic is well-insulated: The No. 1 culprit of home heat loss is a lack of attic insulation, Burnett said. Often homeowners are advised to make sure their attics are well-insulated before insulating any other area of their houses. It's dual purposed, blocking out heat during the summer and keeping the heat in during the winter. Burnett recommends installing insulation with an R-38 resistance rating.
For more information on these and other energy-saving fixes, visit your local home or hardware store, contact a home energy professional or go to tulsaworld.com/energystar before you get started.
Original Print Headline: Tips for keeping out winter chill
Bravetta Hassell 918-581-8316
Putting up an indoor window insulation kit is one measure you can take to keep more heat in your home this winter. If you're making your own kit, Scott Burnett of Burnett Inc. Windows and Siding recommends using Visqueen plastic, which comes in a range of thicknesses. The thicker the plastic, the less transparent the plastic will be. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World