Friday, December 16, 2011

How do I start to winterize my house?

Ask Ida

Dear Ida B. Green,

I know it's late to start winterizing my house, but I'm always pressed for time. Where should I start now?



Dear Chilly,

Even as early snows fall, you can count on a couple more days warm enough to do some of your outdoor button-up chores. Start now by doing some inside work on your drafty windows. Slowly move a lighted incense stick or candle around the perimeter of each window and watch for any wavering in the smoke or flame. A variety of do-it-yourself interior insulation kits and materials are available for all types of windows and will help keep your heat in and the chilly drafts out.

When that nicer day comes, go outside and check around the frames of your windows and doors (where the trim meets the siding of your house) and look for cracked or missing caulk. Scrape out any old pieces and add new acrylic, latex caulk to fill the gaps. The gun-type applicator for this job makes it easy, and you'll feel like a true professional by your second window. While you're at it, fill any gaps around holes in walls where wires or plumbing enter your home.

Up to 25 percent of your heating costs could be going out these cracks, and your work could save you as much as $20 per window in this winter's heating bill.

Keep it Green,


—Elizabeth Jeffrey

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