How To Give Your Home An Energy Makeover

Seasonal temperatures have been warmer in many parts of the country, and that's probably caused some homeowners to forget that autumn is almost around the corner. However, there will be a pronounced chill in the air sooner than many people think, and now is a great time to start giving your home an energy makeover. You'll save money on household heating costs once summer winds down and cooler temperatures prevail, and if you get a head start on winterizing your home, you'll be all set by the time the chill winds begin to blow. Following are just four of the many ways available to homeowners seeking to provide their homes with an energy makeover designed to keep them warm during the winter months while keeping heating costs from skyrocketing. 

Install Storm Windows and Doors 

Storm windows and doors can increase the energy efficiency of your home by as much as 45-percent. They reduce air flow by sealing drafts -- you can either use seasonal storm windows that you install each autumn and remove in the spring, or you can ask your contractor about energy efficient windows that are left up on a year-round basis. ENERGY STAR windows may also be instrumental in protecting your home interior from summer's heat as well as from the cold winter winds, making them a far better choice than traditional storm windows, particularly if you live in an area that experiences significant seasonal extremes. You also may qualify for a tax credit as a result of having ENERGY STAR products installed in your home, so be sure to ask your contractor for information concerning window replacement options -- ENERGY STAR windows may cut your heating costs in winter by as much as 12 percent, and you'll also have the added bonus of reducing the overall carbon footprint of your home. 

Flush Out Your Water Heater

You and other household residents will probably be taking longer showers and more frequent baths once the winter cold begins in earnest, so get your hot water heater ready for the increased demand by flushing it out thoroughly. Open the drain valve and let the entire contents drain, using a rag to remove any residual sediment. If necessary, clean the inside of your water heat out using a mild dish detergent, warm water, and a soft cloth, and rinse until clear -- you should only have to do this if you have hard water because it removes mineral deposits.

Have Your Furnace Inspected

Few things ruin the cozy feeling of a cold winter day spent indoors relaxing with the family more quickly, so make sure your furnace is good to go by having it thoroughly inspected before it's expected to provide heat on a regular basis. A qualified professional will be able to circumvent any issues your furnace may have to make certain it runs like a top when the temperature goes down. It will definitely need its filters changed or cleaned, and the technician will also check for parts that are in need of replacement or repair. 

Have an Energy Audit Performed

Your utility company can perform a comprehensive energy audit that can tell you exactly where you're experiencing energy loss in your home. They can test your windows and doors, for instance, and let you know how much energy and money you stand to save if you have these draft old fixtures new models. Overall, you may be able to save as much as 30 percent on your utility costs by making recommended upgrades after having a full energy audit. Be sure to provide the auditor with a list of issues such as noticeable drafts and condensation on the insides of your windows, and have your past energy bills available for the auditor to examine. 

Your local remodeling contractor will be able to provide you with more information on having energy efficient windows and doors installed in your home. Check out sites like for more information as well.