Real Estate News
Real Estate News

Homeowners' Advice: Toasty Tips for Winter

Written by
Friday, December 27, 2013

Baby, it's cold outside! Keep your home warm and toasty this Winter by following these simple expert tips.

Every homeowner should start their Winter by tackling the "oh so fun" task of checking their home for leaks. Leaks can not only drain your pocket of money, but also drain your home of precious heat.

The U.S. Department of Energy ( knows how important it is for homeowners to stay warm and to save money. This is why they offer up prime tips for what and where to inspect. Let's start on the outside of your home.

Visually inspect:

• All exterior corners
• Outdoor water faucets
• Where siding and chimneys meet
• Areas where the foundation and the bottom of exterior brick or siding meet.

Next, take the inspection inside. Look for drafts and gaps around:

• Electrical outlets
• Switch plates
• Door and window frames
• Electrical and gas service entrances
• Baseboards
• Weather stripping around doors
• Fireplace dampers
• Attic hatches
• Wall- or window-mounted air conditioners.
• Cable TV and phone lines
• Where dryer vents pass through walls
• Vents and fans.

After filling gaps and repairing cracks it's time to consider upgrading your insulation. Insulation is literally your defense against cold air and Winter elements. Old homes are notorious for their meager amounts of insulation. Many of today's products were simply not available at the time of the home's construction. If you have an old home, especially one that has not been updated or been subject to today's building codes, it's time to see where improvements can be made.

Several options are available. If you're a green-minded homeowner, then be sure to check out the latest advances in recycle paper, cellulose, and denim insulations. Yes, you can insulation your home with "old jeans"!

Recycled denim insulation is VOC and formaldehyde free, as well as 100% recyclable. Cellulose is made from at least 75 percent post-consumer recycled content (newspaper) and takes as much as thirty percent less energy to make than traditional insulation. Cellulose also has no effect on indoor air quality.

Be sure to research the best "R" value of insulation for your area. The "R" value is a measure of thermal resistance and there will be a recommended amount from the Department of Energy for your particular zone.

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