Chicagoland winters can be brutally cold, sending some of us to hide under cozy blankets. As we start to head into the colder months, now is a good time to prepare your home for winter.
Getting your home ready for winter doesn’t have to be a dreadful affair, there are some easy ways to keep your home warm and comfy during our coldest months.
Heat can escape your home in a number of ways, some more obvious than others. If you’re suffering from any of these issues, you could be paying for heat that’s going right outside:
- Drafty rooms that are too cold for your comfort
- Ice dams on your roof
- Chilly second floors
- High energy bills
When heat loss occurs in your home, it not only raises your energy bills but can also put a heavy strain on your furnace and boiler systems. When your system has to work harder, it can cause a breakdown that leads to you needing to replace your furnace sooner than expected.
To prevent significant heat loss from happening, we recommend checking the following areas of your home to find areas of poor insulation or risk of heat loss:
Cracks in Walls, Windows, and Doors
The biggest areas for heat loss in most homes are drafts within walls, windows, and doors. Some of these can be invisible to the naked eye. Just a single 1/8” gap under a standard 36” door can leak just as much heat as a 2.4” hole in a wall.
Seal cracks with caulk or foam, and install weatherstripping around any moving parts of your windows and doors. For larger cracks, use insulation foam to effectively seal it.
Basement Walls and Floors
Basement and subfloor areas are likely heat-loss locations. This is due to poor insulation of your basement walls and the cement slab.
The best solution is to finish your basement if it’s cement or provide more insulation around the walls.
Having a finished basement is a great way to increase your home’s R-value or thermal resistance, which determines how quickly it loses heat. However, if such renovations are not in your budget, unfinished basements can be insulated through blanket rolls, foam boards, reflective foils, or fiber insulation.
Windows cause a lot of heat loss because they are made of glass, which is a poor insulator. Triple-glazed windows or storm windows can help lower the amount of heat loss by about 10-20%. Energy Star rated solutions are your best bet.
A more cost-effective way to insulate your windows is by putting up plastic sheets over the existing window panes. Plastic insulation sheets keep heat in your home during the winter and help prevent cold air from seeping in. These can be easily installed by using a hair dryer.
Over time, different types of insulation within your walls can lose effectiveness and will need to be replaced or upgraded.
Don’t worry, adding insulation to your walls does not require major renovations. There are repair options available for homes with existing walls. You can choose to have loose fill, blown-in cellulose, fiberglass, or mineral insulation installed in your wall frames as well as spray foam.
Because hot air rises, some of your home’s heat will be lost through the ceiling. Cracks or holes in your attic or ceiling, along with improperly placed vents, can allow heat loss.
If a home energy audit reveals a lot of heat escaping through your ceiling and into the attic, you may need additional insulation. You may also want to consider insulating your attic access door.
Surprisingly, the place of the least heat loss is through your home’s doors.
However, an energy audit may find that your door is allowing for some heat loss, which means it may be a good time to purchase a new door. The best insulating doors are steel and fiberglass doors (Energy Star rated) rather than wood. Since glass is a poor insulator, doors with large areas of glass may be more attractive, but they also allow heat to escape.
The more you insulate your home, the less warm air will escape, and the less your furnace will have to work to heat your home. Not only will this keep your heating bills down, your furnace will last longer.
Added insulation can also benefit you in the summer months by keeping cooler air in your home longer.
We Help Homeowners
Flader Plumbing and Heating is uniquely suited to assist you in determining the solution that best fits your home and family’s needs. We’ve been serving your neighbors and our community for over 100 years and 4 generations.
The Flader Difference
Only Flader Plumbing and Heating delivers:
- The most responsive service. We’re here for you 24/7.
- Personal attention from certified and licensed technicians.
- The most dependable equipment and parts.
- Money-saving maintenance agreements.
- 100% satisfaction guaranteed.
Flader Plumbing and Heating recommends equipment, models, and brands proven to have the fewest problems and service calls. We specialize in:
Whether you need a new furnace, want to discuss the benefits of a home protection plan, or need to rid your home of a clogged pipe, we are knowledgeable and provide expert service. Our professional technicians arrive on time, listen to your concerns, and answer your questions. They will recommend the right solution and deliver as promised.
Flader technicians average 15 years of experience and are EPA certified.
Expert service, quality parts, and satisfaction guaranteed. There is no reason to compromise. Call us at 847-491-6980.