It's that time of year again — the time that homeowners across the country begin making improvements around the house. What improvements will you be making this year? If you're looking for inspiration to find a place to start, you'll find some information below that can help you determine the first project of the season.
The money that you spend on heating and cooling can be reduced if you invest in making energy-smart improvements to the home. The smartest things to do is to make sure that you're not losing much of the heat and cool air that your home's heating and cooling system produces.
The two areas that'll cost you the most energy loss is the windows and the attic. If the windows are old, they are probably letting just as much outside air into the home as they are letting your paid for heat out. Consider finding a window replacement for any that are leaking air or are old and worn.
Has the attic been insulated in the last several years? Unfortunately, blown in loose-material insulation doesn't last forever. Moisture, heat and pests disrupt the material and can make it less effective. Take a look at the insulation in your attic — is it fully coating the entire area?
Test the Windows
If you're unsure if the windows are leaking air, you can do a test with nothing more than a stick of incense or a smoke stick. Wait for a day in which it's pretty windy outside. Then, light the incense and move it around the windows — watch for the smoke to be blown by a gust of wind. If the smoke is disrupted, the window needs at least some attention — it could just need to be resealed, or it may be too old and need to be replaced. Learn more about window replacement and how to figure out if your windows need it by talking to a specialist.
Siding, Painting and other Exterior Projects
The earlier in the season that you can get to the siding, painting or exterior house projects, the fewer bugs and plants you have to deal with while you're working. If you wait until the peak of summer, the temperatures will make it much more difficult, you'll have plants growing around the house, and those bugs will be buzzing around your head as you work.
Stop and think about what's been bothering you most about your home. Once you've made the changes like replacing windows, to improve energy efficiency, start working on those other things that you aren't quite happy with. Your home should be the one place in your life that you can go and feel truly happy.