Saturday, February 3, 2001
Those small drafts sweeping through your sliding glass door, the breeze blowing along the sides of your single-pane windows and that steady drip, drip, drip of moisture from your ceiling should be telling you something.
How do you keep the weather out of your house, the temperature comfortable inside your home and most of your money in your wallet? We talked to people who get down to the nuts and bolts of home improvements and asked them how to keep home sweet home cozy in the most efficient way.
Bob Grippa, owner of Midwest Electric Systems, says heat tape on your roof will help melt snow and ice so it slides of your roof rather than seep into your house. "Having your gutters clogged with ice and snow can cause an ice dam that could back up under the roof and cause leaking," Grippa said.
For Ty Stewart, assistant manager at Steamboat Lumber Company, weather stripping is the best way to decrease the invasion of cold air and increase the savings on your utility bills.
When a home isn't insulated enough or the areas around the doors and windows are not tight, people tend to play with the thermostat until they find a comfortable temperature. In many cases, it's not until the bill comes that they realize something needs to change, Stewart said.
Wrapping pipe insulation around a hot water heater helps reduce the gas or electric bill because the heater isn't working as hard to keep the water hot, Stewart said. "People don't realize how much caulking and insulating your electrical outlet covers helps insulate a house," he added.
Stewart said weather stripping for doors and windows costs about $3 to $5 at any hardware store; six feet of pipe insulation costs about $1; fiber glass insulation for the attic and crawl spaces costs about $.25-$.30 for a square foot.
Doug Post, manager of True Value, agreed that wrapping pipes, caulking where needed and weather stripping are the best and most efficient ways of weather proofing a home.
"If you've got cold air in basements or crawl spaces, insulate, insulate, insulate," Post said.
On the horns of a dilemma?
Need some answers? Reporter Kelly Silva will find them for you and put them in our Asked & Answered column. All you have to do is ask. Call her at 871-4204 or email her at email@example.com