Saving Green by Being Green
Three simple fixes to help save money and winterize around the house
There are numerous, simple projects at homeowners' fingertips that can conserve energy in a home and keep money in the bank. Although windows, doors and siding are the biggest opportunities to conserve energy and reduce costs, not every project has to be a major one. When it comes to improving energy efficiency, every little bit helps. Using the right products helps to ensure that projects are done correctly and withstand the test of time. Below are a few easy weekend projects to get any house ready for the winter.
Garage doors are usually the single largest entry point into a home and are rarely insulated, leaving a large area where air can seep in. Rubber thresholds, found at any hardware store, can be easily and quickly installed underneath the garage door to help keep the cold at bay. Since most garage doors are aluminum, it is best to use a two-part epoxy like Gorilla Epoxy to secure these two different materials together. Epoxy fills any surface gaps, creating a lasting, water-resistant bond. The pressure and weight of the door then helps seal the garage when the door is closed. A similar type of seal can be made with a rubber gasket on exterior doors as well. By creating a tighter seal on this entry door, cold air is prevented from getting in and the warm air from getting out.
When the weather dips below freezing, there is a good chance that copper pipes will freeze. This is a potentially messy and costly issue that can be easily prevented. While it might be harder to get to the pipes behind the walls, exposed pipes in the basement can be wrapped without difficulty. Flexible foam with a split-sleeve, purchased from any hardware store, will slip right over the pipes and can be easily secured with Gorilla Tape. This heavy duty tape contains twice the adhesive as most duct tapes and outperforms standard duct tape in these tough situations. Either wrap tape around the insulating foam or run the entire length to seal the seam. Even areas where freezing does not pose a threat can benefit by keeping the pipes a more consistent temperature, and preventing costly drywall leaks caused by pipe condensation.
Attics, even when insulated, are a major source of lost heat. However, most homeowners forget to complete their insulation project by insulating the access door to the attic. For this project, it is best to use rigid foam insulation with a radiant barrier. Cut the insulation board to the door's dimensions. (It is best to cut the piece a tad smaller than the door's exact size to ensure that it does not interfere with hinges or where the door seats into place.) Once cut, affix the insulation board using polyurethane glue.
All of these winterizing projects are easy, quick, and can be completed within a weekend. Armed with a few supplies from the local hardware store, energy and heat savings are just a few moments away.