Don't Throw Money Out the Door!
The weather here in Atlanta can't make up its mind whether it's winter or spring. Maybe because the weather has been so mild, the few cold days we have had have felt really cold!
The front door seems to be the single greatest source of cold air in my house; partly because it is constantly opening and partly because it is hard to seal around a moving object. If your heating or cooling bills seem high, take a look at YOUR doors (and windows,too) and see if any of the following may apply:
- You can see daylight around the edge or bottom of the door;
- You can feel a draft around the edge or bottom of the door or window;
- The door or window doesn't close properly;
- A pane of glass is cracked or broken;
- Your house does not have storm doors.
It's easy and inexpensive to stop outside air from coming inside. First of all, use your storm doors and close them as you go in and out. The storm door acts as a thermal barrier to the outside air. I had a tenant who kept her storm doors propped open all the time. She complained about her heating bills, and couldn't understand the connection between air influx and the cost of her utilities! I had another person who left a bedroom window open year 'round and couldn't understand why the house was difficult to heat and cool!
Open your drapes during the day to let sunlight and warmth into the house, especially on south-facing windows. Close the curtains at night or on really cold days to keep your valuable heat inside. Even opening and closing your blinds can make a difference in the heat loss, and a combination of blinds and drapes is terrific insulation.
Did you see daylight in any spot around your door? Weatherstripping, caulking and door sweeps pay for themselves in no time. I've tried to make all the homes I manage energy efficient, but doors seem to need regular maintenance to keep the weatherstripping working as it should. Pets pull it off, kids knock it off, doors swell and shrink, stuff happens. Let me know if your doors (or windows) are drafty and need attention. Prevention is inexpensive and can save you money and the shivers in the weeks ahead.