Conserve energy and save money this fall by weatherizing your home with these easy tips

(HIB) – Cooler seasonal temperatures can have an impact on not only your home, but also your wallet. Along with adjusting your thermostat as the cooler weather embraces much of the country, weatherizing your home also has a direct impact on the amount of energy required to maintain a comfortable temperature indoors. Follow these five easy DIY home weatherizing tips to increase your home’s energy efficiency and lower the utility bill each month.

Turn on the humidifier. Increasing the humidity in your home during the cooler months adds moisture to your living space. This raises the “heat index,” making 68 degrees feel more like 76 degrees. Be sure to maintain a relative humidity in the home between 20 to 40 percent. As the temperature outside drops, lower this percentage so condensation does not form on the windows.

Seal the gaps. Areas such as windows, doors, attic hatches, vents and other seasonally-used areas are prime sources for air leaks, which can cause energy bills to skyrocket. To help maintain a controlled climate inside the home and prevent air from leaking in or escaping, weatherize these areas of your home by using a temporary sealant.DAP Seal ‘N Peel is an all-season, removable weather-stripping sealant you can easily apply to seal holes, cracks and gaps where air can pass through. It’s also waterproof, low in odor and dries to a clear finish. And when spring comes and you want to remove it, it peels away easily and cleanly, leaving behind no residue.

Add extra insulation to all areas of your home. Adding insulation to your home reduces energy usage and increases comfort. If your home uses less than 12 inches of insulation, chances are heat is escaping. Add insulation in the attic to prevent warm air from escaping. Also consider adding insulation in crawl spaces, under floors and against basement walls to stop the transfer of cold through the house.

Run your fan in the proper direction. There are layers of air in every living space that vary in degree of temperature. Because the warmest air is closest to the ceiling, running your ceiling fan in a clockwise direction in the winter months pushes the warm air up against the ceiling and then down the walls. This recirculates warm air through the room without a cool breeze and offsets the workload of the HVAC, lowering heat costs by as much as 10 percent.

Get a home energy audit. If you’ve completed the four tasks above and your energy bill is still unusually high, it might be time to request a home energy audit to pinpoint problem areas in your home. This will help identify the problem areas and help you make the necessary improvements for an efficient home. In fact, you could save 5 to 30 percent on your energy bill by repairing issues found in a home energy audit, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Bonus tip!

Invest in a programmable thermostat. Prevent working your heating equipment overtime by installing a programmable thermostat to automatically raise and lower the air temperature based on the time of day or if you’re away from home. By turning your thermostat back even eight degrees for eight hours a day, you can save as much as 10 percent on your annual heating costs.

Why make your heating and cooling systems work harder than they have to each year? By taking steps to properly weatherize your home and increase its efficiency, you’re able to maintain a comfortable interior more easily, and save money in the meantime. To find the DAP Seal ‘N Peel and more DAP products to use in home DIY projects, visit www.dap.com.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

10 smart ideas to heat your home for less

(HIB) – As cooler temperatures begin to sweep the nation, homeowners are turning on their heat for the first time in months. With every degree increase on the thermostat, utility bills follow suit.

A warm, comfortable home shouldn’t cost you a small fortune. Luckily, there are some simple strategies for combating the chill while lowering heating costs at the same time.

Change the filters
The summer and fall months are a prime time for airborne allergens and microbes, which can clog furnace filters and inhibit airflow. This makes your furnace work harder and in turn, costs you more. Change your filters monthly to help open airflow and save money.

Embrace the sun
Want to help heat your home for free during the winter? Pay attention to the sun. Try opening curtains on south-facing windows and the radiant heat from the sun will help naturally heat your home. Just remember to close them at night to keep out the evening chill.

Use a programmable thermostat
You can save up to 10 percent a year on heating and cooling by simply adjusting your thermostat 7-10 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 hours a day, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Use a programmable thermostat to change the temperature for time periods you are sleeping or away from home. Some air conditioning systems can be controlled remotely through a smartphone app like “Smart AC,” which works seamlessly with LG duct-free systems, allowing the homeowners to wirelessly connect, control and monitor the temperature through an easy-to-use smartphone app.

Consider installing a duct-free mini-split system to provide zoned heating
Instead of moving air through ductwork as central heating and air conditioning systems do, duct-free systems deliver warm conditioned air directly into a room. Duct-free systems like those from LG provide high-performance zone heating, allowing homeowners to keep their bedrooms toasty warm at night when it’s frigid outside, while turning the heat down (or off!) in the rest of the home to help save energy.

Clear heat registers
One common mistake homeowners make is covering heat registers with furniture, toys or other items that block the heat flow. To improve heating efficiency, inspect all heat registers in your home and remove anything that’s blocking them.

Seal leaks and lock windows
Phantom heat loss is a huge energy drain. Test for leaks by using a flashlight to see if light filters through cracks or try pulling a dollar bill through. Then, seal air leaks around utility cut-throughs, chimneys and recessed lights with spray foam. Use caulk and weather stripping to seal windows and doorway drafts. Don’t forget to close and lock windows and doors. Locking pulls the components tight against the weather-stripping to block cold air from entering the home.

Consider installing an Energy Star certified heating system
Energy Star certified energy-efficient products provide superior performance while saving energy to help lessen the impact on the world around us. The EPA Energy Star program identifies heating and cooling products that are energy efficient and can save you money.

Use your fireplace wisely
The warmth and ambiance of a wood-burning fireplace are hard to beat on a chilly day. But to ensure you don’t lose valuable heat when the fireplace is not in use, always remember to close the damper when the fire is completely out.

Fill attic insulation
When was the last time you checked your attic’s insulation? Heat rises – so if you don’t have proper insulation in your attic, you’re losing money. Start by checking to make sure insulation is evenly spread throughout your attic. Then, visit energy.gov/energysaver/insulation to learn recommended insulation amounts for your region.

Lower your water heater temperature
Water heating accounts for about 18 percent of the energy consumed in your home, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Consider setting your water heater to a lower setting of 120 Fahrenheit and you’ll still enjoy hot showers without a utility bill that will scald you.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

Superior design, superior functionality

(HIB) – Incorporating style and sophistication is becoming a standard in today’s modern homes. As the center of activity and entertaining, the kitchen is the room to truly “wow” guests with elevated design choices that don’t compromise the space’s necessary functionality. From countertops to fixtures, a modern kitchen is designed with the home chef in mind and should seamlessly integrate purpose and style.

Beyond granite

Long considered the hallmark of a luxury kitchen, granite has been widely chosen for its aesthetic appeal and rugged durability; however, homeowners looking to break from the standard have a range of alternate materials from which to choose. Crisp marbles infuse a room with a clean, stately charm while having the benefit of being cool to the touch, perfect for the home baker. On the warmer end of the spectrum, butcher block countertops bring in a more relaxed vibe and will withstand rigorous use by the serious home chef. For something a bit out of the norm, soapstone and concrete are dependable surfaces that will patina over time.

On display

Open shelving in the kitchen ensures the most used items are within reach while simultaneously delivering an airy feel. Customized to fit any space, these shelves effortlessly draw the eye to perfectly-organized dishes, cookware or dry goods. Complemented by a sophisticated backsplash, unique shelving materials such as galvanized iron or reclaimed wood can transform the kitchen into an industrially-inspired space, while floating shelves in white oak or black walnut provide a more contemporary note.

Technology that simplifies

From appliances to faucets, kitchen tools are becoming increasingly high-tech. Intuitive applications that anticipate needs and increase functionality without sacrificing design are must-haves in the modern kitchen. The single-handle Articulating Kitchen Faucet with SmartTouch Technology by Brizo combines a jointed arm that allows the spray wand to be positioned virtually anywhere around the sink with the brand’s signature touch technology, allowing water activation with just a simple tap anywhere on the faucet base, handle or arm for maximum flexibility and functionality.

Sophisticated storage

As kitchens become the de facto entertaining environment in the modern home, it is increasingly important to incorporate elements to keep clutter at bay. Thoughtful storage solutions are critical to both the visual style and utilitarian design in the home chef’s kitchen. Maximizing spaces in key work areas for items like spices, knives and even small appliances, improves efficiency while minimizing countertop clutter.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail