By Anita Ginsburg
Winter is on its way and you know what that means... soon, you'll need to turn on your furnace. In fact, if you live in a colder climate, you might have already done so.
Related: 4 Tips for Home-Buying During the Colder Months
Keeping your home warm while keeping your electric bill low is the goal for most homeowners. If it seems like your home is always chilly but your energy bill is high, you may be losing heat. Here are some of the most common places your home can lose heat:
Your windows are one of the prime places for heat loss. Old windows are known for letting heat escape while letting drafts in. Triple-glazed windows work well to keep the heat inside your home when the furnace is running. Since air isn't really conducive of heat, triple-glazed windows act as a three-layer barrier to keep cold air out and warm air inside.
However, if you can't afford window replacement, invest in high-quality curtains to help keep warm air inside. It's estimated that drapes can reduce heat loss by approximately 10 percent during the winter. You can also install weather stripping, which help to fill in ill-fitting windows.
Similarly, doors that are in need of repair or replacement are a leading source of heat loss. To prevent this from happening around your door, make sure that the perimeter around the door frame is insulated well. You can use weather stripping or foam tape to fill in gaps. You should also install new door sweeps to keep cold air from entering underneath the door. If your doors are past the point of repair, replacement doors may be in order.
Through the Roof
Even if your windows and doors are tightly insulated, you may still be losing a good amount of heat through your roof. If your roof is old or in need of repair, heat can easily escape through cracks in the shingles or worn-out insulation. If only minor repairs are needed, you can easily seal up any holes and add insulation.
Power Outlets and Switches
Areas around power switches and outlets are also prime areas of heat loss. If the outlets aren't insulated well, heat may be escaping through the walls. However, adding insulation is usually a quick fix. If you're handy around the house, you simply disconnect the power, remove the face plates and carefully add on external outlets and light switches. If you aren't handy, enlist the help of an experienced electrician to avoid injury.
Keeping your home warm and toasty this winter is easier than you may think. Take time before the first deep freeze to ensure your home is ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at you!
Anita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver, Colo. She studied at Colorado State University and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever possible. If you're in the market for a replacement door, Ginsburg recommends Pella.