3 Tips To Increase Your Home's Heating Efficiency

by Diane Barnes

As anyone living in a cold climate knows, heating your home in wintertime can cost a small fortune. Yet it's still possible to keep yourself cozy and warm without breaking the bank. If you would like to learn more about economizing on your energy costs, read on. This article will offer three simple tactics for more efficient heating.

Ensure that your electrical outlets are insulated.

Most people have never stopped to consider that electrical outlets offer an easy way for cold air to get into your house. This is especially true of outlets situated on exterior walls. Even when well insulated, the air on the inside of those walls is still much cooler than that inside the room. An ordinary electrical face plate simply isn't designed to prevent that cool air from migrating into your warm room.

Thankfully, all it takes to insulate your outlets is a tube of latex caulk. Just take off the face plate and plug up any void spaces around the outlets. If these are too big to fill in using caulk, try using spray foam. For maximum insulation, you can also install foam strips around the face plate before screwing it back on.     

Check the weatherstripping around your windows and doors.

Drafty doors and windows represent the most problematic forms of home heat loss. Together  they are estimated to be responsible for a whopping 7 to 12 percent of a home's energy loss. The best way to reduce this liability is with weatherstripping, which reduces unwanted airflow by ensuring a nice tight seal. Whether you know it or not, chances are your home is already insulated with at least some weatherstripping.

The problem is that weatherstripping loses its efficiency as it ages. Different materials will degrade at different rates. Yet regardless of what type is used in your home, it is important to periodically inspect your stripping to gauge its efficiency. If you notice that your weatherstripping looks or feels like it is starting to become worn, replace it as soon as possible.

Make an adjustment to your home's threshold.

Where exterior doors are concerned, not all gaps can be correctly addressed through weatherstripping alone. Thresholds are one common area where large volumes of cold air manage to sneak in. If you can see light coming through the crack below your door, it's probably a good idea to look into adjusting your threshold's height.

You see, many thresholds come equipped with a series of screws that allow you to adjust it vertically. The heads of these screws should be readily apparent when you inspect your threshold. If you don't notice them, that may be because they are covered with decorative caps. Pry these off if necessary and then turn the screws in a counterclockwise direction to bring the threshold up to the proper height.

Talk to local heating professionals, such as Colorado Comfort Systems, for more tips and ideas.