Wednesday, December 16, 2020 / by Global Marketing
Save Money - Keep The Cold Outside
Each year, Mother Nature robs you. She changes the weather from the blistering Tuscaloosa summers into about 2-3 weeks of wonderful autumn temperatures, only to flip the script again and send rain and cold for winter. It’s an annual cycle and if you’re not careful you’re likely letting some of that cold into your house and it’s costing you money.
Here are some helpful tips, some from local experts, that will help keep the cold out, keep your home warmer, and ultimately save you money.
Check Your Exterior Doors
The exterior doors are where you’ll lose a lot of your warmed air right now. When you go outside to check the mail or pick up an Amazon package, all that cold rushes in. But when you close it, you’re not done keeping the cold out like you think.
With the door closed, take the back of your hand and place it along the door jam, right where your door and trim meet. Move it slowly over the full edge of your door, top to bottom. If you feel any air movement, you’ve got outside cold air moving in. Pay particular attention to the corners and bottom of your door, that’s where you’re likely seeing the most air movement.
Every breath of cold air that comes in has to be converted by your HVAC to warm air and that’s costing you money.
Every breath of cold air you can keep out of your home is saving you money.
Chances are you’ve never replaced any of the door seals (weather strips) and they’re worn out. Over time they get smushed and flattened and lose their ability to keep cold air out. These are remarkably inexpensive and very easy to replace. You don’t need any special tools at all, just some scissors.
The materials are available at any home improvement store (Anders Hardware - downtown Kentuck, or Home Depot and Lowe’s). They’re about $5 per strip and you’ll need 3 strips per door.
Inexpensive, easy to install, and very effective. You’ll keep the cold out now and the cool in, in the summer!
Get Your HVAC Serviced
This is a little more expensive than $15 but worth every penny.
Your HVAC is a lot like your car where you get your car serviced with oil changes, new air filters, and tires. That keeps your car running without major issues. Your HVAC system is just like it - it has a motor and fluids and moving parts that should be inspected for optimum performance.
Right now, Bradberry Service Company is offering a $59 special to get your system inspected. They’ll send a team of professionals to check all the moving parts of your system, including the furnace. This gets a set of trained professional eyes on the system that’s keeping your home warm and they can spot any opportunity where you’re losing warm air - and losing money.
SIDE NOTE: They’ve got protocols they follow to keep social distancing and help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and they can still perform all the inspection of your system.
They’ll check your system and ensure it’s operating at its optimal level so you’re not losing money while it’s running.
The more efficient and maintained your system, the less money you waste all year long.
Cover Your Outside Faucets
Most people cover their faucets to keep their pipes from freezing and bursting. It’s a good idea to cover them for that reason, but also because this is likely a point of air exchange in your home. Cold air can get in if the area beside the faucet is exposed.
Cold air will rush in, get in between the walls, and make the warm air inside more difficult (and expensive) to maintain.
You can get a can of spray foam or fill the area with putty - where your faucet meets the siding and prevent cold air from getting in. The more cold air you keep out, the more money you’re saving.
There are a few ways to cover your faucets as well, to keep them from freezing. With cold temps here to stay for the next few months it’s a good idea to get them covered so your home is protected.
The best way is to install/attach some simple faucet covers. (also available at any home improvement store)
They’re about $5-7 each and install in seconds. They keep just enough air that is just warm enough, around your faucet so that the freezing temps don’t settle on the metal faucet, freeze the water in it, and possibly burst your pipes.
(an inside look)
Here is a quick video on how to install faucet covers so you can see how simple it really is. This is a very low-cost way to save money and protect your home.
Check Your Windows
When was the last time you checked to make sure your windows were fully closed and locked?
So take 5 minutes, walk around to every window, pull the blinds and curtains out of the way, and double-triple check every window is fully closed and locked.
This will help limit the air exchange with your windows and also make sure your windows are locked, ensuring the safety of your home.
If just 1 window is a little cracked, that’s warm air out, cold air in, and money you’re wasting.
Reverse Your Fans
You can save 15% off your energy bill, just by changing the direction of your ceiling fans.
That’s a huge savings to your checking account but also it makes your HVAC system run more efficiently. It makes converting cold air into warm air, easier on your system.
Take 30 seconds, get a step ladder, and flip the switch on your ceiling fan to clockwise. (just be sure you turn your fan off before you get near it!)
And if you’re like most of us, your fans need to be cleaned to get the dust off!
With the fan off and stopped, get a step ladder or stool and a damp cloth. Use a different area of your rag for each fan blade. Clean the dusty edges, the ends, the bottoms, and the tops of each blade to ensure you get them clean. Be careful not to get the motor or main housing wet.
Then when you’re done cleaning, change the direction of the blades. You know you’ve got them going in the right direction in the winter when you stand under your fan and don’t feel air blowing down on you.
Your fan will be pulling cooler air up and mixing it with the warmer air in the room (warm air rises). This helps your room stay a set temperature longer - and makes it much easier for your HVAC system to maintain the ideal setting.
Your ceiling fans draw much less electricity than your HVAC system, so this is a great and simple way to save money in cold months.
Last But Not Least
We work with families every single winter that move to find a newer, more energy efficient home. The home they’re in has drafty doors and windows, might be lacking insulation, and they need a new home for all the benefits that come with new construction.
Could just be they need new-er construction to find the home with more space, better schools, and less draft and cold air.
This is obviously the biggest and most expensive option, but it is one that plenty of people consider. We help them and their family find the perfect new home in the Tuscaloosa or Northport areas.
If you have questions about New Construction homes in Tuscaloosa or Northport, just Contact Our Team and we’ll be happy to share with you ideas and options - and we’ll gladly answer any question you have.