Inspection of a home for winter includes investigating areas where energy may be lost. Energy loss is the primary reason why utility bills rise to an almost unmanageable level. Despite high utility costs in the winter, there is a lot that can be done to help lower energy loss, and, therefore, utility bills. It begins with a thorough inspection of the home. The best time to do this inspection is before winter begins. Perhaps, fall is a good time to inspect a home for places where energy escapes. Fall is a good time to do repairs and address matters that do not guard against energy loss. The process for preparing a home for winter is called winterizing.
Some homes feature combustion gas equipment as a source for heat. Gases such as propane and natural gas are examples of combustible gases that require proper ventilation. Sometimes, oil is used. In any event, the equipment that utilizes these energy sources should be inspected for broken seals and pipes. Today, homes usually have controlled ventilation to ensure a good source of air flow. Radiators are also a source for escaping energy. Ensure that they are working properly. At times, bleeding the radiator valves by opening them slightly then closing them as soon as water appears may be needed.

Insulation is another source of protection from energy loss. Ceiling insulation should be above twelve inches, minimum, and the joists should not be seen. If either of these situations exists, more insulation material may be needed. Cracks in walls allow cool air to enter or energy to escape. Any interior and exterior cracks or openings need to be repaired. Additionally, wall insulation may greatly help to protect against energy loss.

It is helpful to change furnace filters regularly. Also, consider calling a professional HVAC person to inspect and make necessary repairs. Air ducts can lose as much as 50% to 60% of heated air before it reaches the vents when not insulated. Furthermore, the joint connections should be covered with insulation material.

Inspecting the windows and doors interior and exterior is important. Window panes may need to be replaced. When closed, there should be a good seal all around the window. They should properly open, close, and lock. Doors are clearly a source of escaping energy. An open area or crack will allow energy to escape or be challenged by cooler air entering. Weather stripping doors and caulking windows is a good idea when winterizing a home.

Areas around pipes in walls should be properly sealed to prevent energy from escaping. Pipes that are inside the home can be insulated to prevent unnecessary loss or energy. Also, wrapping water heaters with insulation material will save them from heat loss.

Winterizing a home is essential to lowering utility bills during the winter. This allows for comfortable temperatures, while saving money. A professional winter inspection to get ready for colder temperatures may be desired, rather than be done by an individual. A professional inspection can save time

Updated: October 23, 2012 — 2:33 pm
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