(BPT) - How much do you spend on utilities? Are you looking for ways to save? According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a typical American household spends about $2,100 on energy bills each year. Most of that expense comes from a home's energy use during the winter heating season. A quick home checkup can help you can reduce these costs, prepare for winter and enjoy energy savings.
Properly installed and maintained windows and doors can help keep your home more comfortable year-round. Save on heating costs by preparing your windows and doors for winter with these tips:
- Clear sills and moving parts of dirt and debris. Debris like sand, dirt or leaves can get caught in windowsills and moving parts of windows or doors. Clean these areas with a dry paintbrush to create a tighter seal and enhance window and door performance.
- Check weather stripping. Re-attach or replace missing or worn weather stripping around windows and doors. Loose weather stripping can let cold air in during the winter and out in the summer, reducing energy efficiency.
- Reapply caulk or sealant around windows and doors. Reseal areas around windows and doors that may have been exposed to heavy weather or extreme sunlight - creating breaks in caulk or sealant - to help reduce potential drafts and leaks.
- Installing snap-in blinds or shades. Install snap-in blinds or shades to help insulate your home from cold outdoor temperatures.
- Repair or replace damaged exterior surfaces. Cracked or deteriorated wood associated with water penetration may allow moisture or cold air to leak into your home. Look closely for signs of moisture leakage and replace damaged wood. Consult a professional to help correct any roof or drainage problems around your home.
- Install storm doors. Storm doors add an extra layer of protection and help reduce air and moisture leakage.
- Replace old windows and doors with energy-efficient ones. If you have single-pane glass, clear glass, or older windows or doors, you may be paying more to heat your home in the winter and cool it in the summer. Replace old windows with energy-efficient, double or triple-pane glass versions made with insulating argon, or install new durable fiberglass doors to help save money and energy year-round.
Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.