News & Insights

Winter is Coming

Carl Christianson

Building tight, energy efficient homes has ALWAYS been a chief concern here at G. Christianson. An efficient, well built home is a happy home. So, in two parts, here are a few tips from us to help you prepare for the cold and save a little money.

– Eliminate air leaks to the outdoors. Everyone has shoved a towel under a door at one time or another to stop cold air from coming in underneath. This is because no matter how good your insulation is, air flow into the house will bring that cold air right past the insulation barrier. Some places people don’t think about are.

-Window mounted air conditioners left up year round.
-Poorly sealing exterior doors.
-Basement or garage doors left open.
-Leaky attic access and crawlspace hatches.
-Disconnected heating ducts in your attic or crawlspace.

-Invest in more insulation in the attic. Nine out of ten houses we see do not have enough insulation in the attic. This is often the number one, best energy upgrade we can provide you for your home.

-Run your appliances more efficiently. There are a few ways you can tweak your appliance use to save energy.

-Clean your dryer lint filter more regularly. Even a thin layer of lint can keep the moisture in the dryer, forcing it to run longer, blowing hot air (money) directly to the outdoors. But NEVER direct dryer flow indoors, as the humidity can cause a host of problems in your home.
-Turn off the dry cycle on your dishwasher. Wash your dishes before bedtime and then leave the door open overnight to let the dishes air dry. The type of heat generated by dryers and dishwashers is the least efficient, most costly method, so any way you can run them less often will save you dollars.
-Invest in a programmable thermostat, then turn it low or off at night and when you are away from home. Many believe it is more expensive to heat a house that has grown cold than it is to keep a house warm all day. This is a common misconception! Like trying to keep a fire running all day, you use up more logs and dollars heating the house when you are away. If your home is very cold when you arrive at the end of the day, it is likely because you have a leaky home and you may want us to inspect it for energy issues. We can help you pick the best thermostat for you. We currently have a NEST thermostat in our office, which takes the guesswork out of programming and figuring out how your thermostat works.

-If you have Cadet-style wall heaters, blow compressed air in while running a vacuum hose next to the grill. This helps reduce the risk of fire and cuts down on that burnt smell a Cadet heater makes after being out of use for a while.

To be continued in part 2… While you are waiting, go to our website and click on the “Save Energy” link under the “REMODELING” tab at the top of the page. There you can learn how we can help your home save you money.

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