Winter Home Assessment: How to Reduce Your Energy
Here in New England, staying warm is key to enjoying the winter months, which means turning up the heat, lighting the fire, or setting up a space heater. In addition, this time of year can mean an increase in energy bills. As your local agent, we are here to help.
By making some changes to your home, you could save significant money and improve your home’s comfort level. And did you know there are additional benefits to an energy-efficient home? Things like mold, excessive dust, ice dams, moisture on windows, sinus problems, and excessive noise can also be potentially addressed by making simple home improvements.
We put together the following guide to help reduce your energy all year long.
Air Sealing and Adding Insulation
Sealing up all of the small holes throughout your home can improve energy efficiency and keep out dust and pests. More specifically, attics and basements are the primary offenders, but doors and windows can also contribute to spikes in heating costs due to air leaks. Many of these may be sealed with caulk or expanding foam. Make sure to check the following places for any air leaks:
- The attic — and be sure to check for air leaks around your pipes and chimneys.
- The basement — leaks are common where the basement walls meet the floors above.
- Doors frame, windows frames, and pipes.
- Crawlspaces or storage space throughout the house.
Ice dams typically build up in the area where there are drains and gutters, it creates a dam-like effect that forces water back under the roof and into your home. Water leaking into your home from an ice dam can result in massive damage to walls, ceilings, and insulation. From peeling paint to buckled floors it can be a nightmare. Here are ways to help avoid ice dams in the first place:
- Keep the minimum temperature in your home to 65 degrees to avoid water-freezing temperature issues.
- Have a professional install a water-repellent membrane under your roof covering for extra protection.
- Before the threat of winter officially arrives, have a professional clean out all gutters filled with debris and leaves.
- Keep your attic well ventilated and your attic floor well insulated to avoid the heat from your home from rising and potentially causing the ice on your roof to melt rapidly.
Lighting & Appliances
Although it may affect your wallets in the short term, investing in energy-efficient and eco-friendly appliances can benefit your home and bank account in the long term. Consider replacing appliances with more energy-efficient alternatives to save more money on utility bills down the road. By switching to these types of appliances, you can also reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
With Arbella’s Mass Save partnership, Massachusetts homeowners can save up to 5% on their home insurance, qualify for rebates and discounts, and lower energy bills! All you have to do is complete a no-cost in-home energy assessment and send the assessment to your local Bearingstar agent. To learn more and schedule a no-cost in-home inspection, visit the MassSave website or call 1-866-527-7283.
No matter what the winter months throw your way this year, your friends at Bearingstar are here to help. If you have any questions regarding home winterizing tips or your home insurance policy, a Bearingstar Insurance agent is happy to help. Visit our website to connect with a local agent near you.