How To Save Money On Heating And Cooling Your Home
If your house is not properly prepared for proper heating and cooling during the appropriate seasons, you are spending more money to be less comfortable in your own home.
You can perform some of the necessary preparation work and/or modifications yourself, then hire a contractor to do the heavy lifting for the larger projects.
Here's a few examples of some energy-saving tasks that you can do on your own, with limited skills and expense, along with more expansive options that can be done by a local contractor.
How's your ductwork?
The efficiency of your heating and cooling units can be severely diminished by leaking or undersized ductwork. If you can feel warmed or cooled air blowing out of the connections between individual ducts and fittings, then the treated air is not arriving at its proper destinations in the home.
You can seal the accessible connections yourself with a tube of water-based duct dealer, a small caulking gun, and a duct sealing brush, but you will first need to pull and scrape away any old duct tape that has degraded over time
When applying the sealant, you should first run a bead along the edges of the slip and drive connections, then smooth out the bead with the duct seal brush. Pay special attention to the corners, applying more sealant if necessary.
After the sealant has hardened, you should wrap the connections in silver reflective duct tape, not the old stringy multiuse gray duct tape, which is ineffective in stopping air leaks.
If you have the available funds, you should consider having your ducts inspected and sealed by a professional contractor, who can seal the ducts inside the walls with a special spray sealant. The contractor can also check to see if your ductwork is sized properly, and give you a price on upgrading the ductwork to a larger size if needed.
Keep your house cooler with reflective roof coating
If you have a black asphalt roof, it is adding to your cooling bills, because the heat of the sun is absorbed by the black surface. You can help to minimize that effect by covering your roof with a reflective coating, which repels the rays of the sun.
All you need to do is to measure the square feet of your roof (multiply length times width) and buy enough reflective coating to cover the roof. You need an applicator brush and handle, which are available at a local home improvement store where the coatings are sold.
However, be forewarned that the coatings adhere to any surface, including you, so wear clothes to which you have no sentimental attachments. The coating is also very reflective, so you must be careful to protect your eyes so you don't walk over the edge of the roof or damage your eyesight. Heat will also be an issue in the summer sun.
Like all unpleasant tasks, if you can afford to hire a contractor to do the work, you will save yourself from the various risks of roofing work. You can also have your attic inspected to see if insulation can be added to thwart the heat from entering your home in the summer and the heat escaping your home in the winter.
Old doors and windows
You should also look for any cracks and crevices along doors and windows and apply silicone sealant to these areas. If your curtains move when the wind blows, you have air leaks that can raise the discomfort level in your home while taking the money out of your pocket.
If your windows and storm doors are showing their age, it may be time to have them replaced with newer energy efficient replacements. The initial cost will be more than offset by the years of savings in energy costs