How to Keep Your Home Warm, Cozy and Energy-Efficient This Winter
With the winds of winter fast approaching, it’s a good idea to shore up your home’s defenses against the cold temperatures, ice and snow to ensure a cozy, energy-efficient home, as well as avoid any weather-related damage. And, through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, homeowners can receive an energy tax credit of up to $500 for making certain energy-efficient improvements to their home before the end of the year.
For good winterization ideas, take a look at the following tips from CertainTeed Corporation, North America’s largest brand of building products.
• Adding insulation can make your home more comfortable and help reduce your monthly utility bills.If you can see the tops of the ceiling joists when you look in your attic, then it is wise to add more insulation toattain the recommended R-value for your home’s specific geographic area. CertainTeed InsulSafe® SP, afiberglass blowing insulation, is a good choice for insulating attics, as it can fill many hard-to-reach spaces andoffer better protection from air leakage. Proper insulation also helps prevent warm air from rising to the roofand creating ice dams, ice accumulations along the eave and in the gutter that can damage your roof. To learnmore about insulation-related rebates and incentives, visit www.certainteed.com/itools. To find an insulationcontractor in your area, visit www.certainteed.com/insulation.
• According to the U.S. Department of Energy, in most parts of the nation, insulating the exposed slab edge ofthe home can reduce heating costs by 10 percent or more. The EnergyEdge® slab insulation system fromCertainTeed offers an ideal solution in this area.
• Insulate exposed pipes and faucets, beginning with pipes in the outer walls, crawl spaces, attic and garage.
Prepare the Exterior
• Replace worn roofing shingles to give your roof better protection from a harsh, cold winter. Products such asCertainTeed Presidential Shake™ Impact Resistant Shingles are made of the industry’s most durable materials,replicate the look of real wood shakes and offer impact resistance to hail, falling tree branches and otherhazardous winter forces.
• Remove debris and fall leaves from the gutters to prevent ice dams and the damages they cause.
• Shut off and disconnect the water supply to outside faucets and hoses. Also, consider replacing faucets withfreeze-proof versions.
Check Your Furnace
• Schedule a furnace inspection now, so it will be ready to go when needed.
• Change furnace filters every one to three months.
The Simplest Solutions
• Keeping drapes closed will help keep cold air out.
• Use a humidifier in common areas to create extra moisture, which makes interior air feel warmer and reducesthe risks of homeowners suffering from winter illnesses.
• Reverse direction of ceiling fans to rotate clockwise. This will pull the trapped warm air down for yourcomfort.By taking practical winterization steps, such as the ones above, homeowners can remain cozy and comfortable indoors all winter, reduce energy costs, protect their pocketbooks from expensive weather-related repairs and even save on their taxes.
For more information on federal tax credits for energy-efficient home improvements, visit http://www.certainteed.com/energytaxcredit/.
Through the responsible development of innovative and sustainable building products, CertainTeed, headquartered in Valley Forge, Pa., has helped shape the building products industry for more than 100 years. Founded in 1904 as General Roofing Manufacturing Company, the firm's slogan “Quality Made Certain, Satisfaction Guaranteed,” quickly inspired the name CertainTeed. Today, CertainTeed® is North America’s leading brand of exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, fence, decking, railing, trim, foundations, pipe, insulation, gypsum, ceilings and access covers.
A subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building products company, CertainTeed and its affiliates have more than 6,000 employees and more than 65 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada. Recognized as a 2009 and 2010 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, CertainTeed earned the 2011 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award, the highest level of recognition for outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency. The group had total sales of approximately $3 billion in 2010. www.certainteed.com