Energy Coach Hot Tips Archive
Maisa Metcalf's Hot Tip for October 2014
Do-it-yourself winter energy upgrades
Many home projects to make your home warm in the winter are fast and simple enough to do yourself. A bit of prevention in the fall will make your home more weather tight this winter.
- Caulk and apply weather stripping to doors and windows.
- On exterior walls, install foam gaskets behind outlets and switch plates.
- Use spray foam to fill larger gaps in places where air can leak out.
- Tightly close the fireplace flue damper when the fireplace is not in use.
- Maintain your furnace: Install a clean furnace filter now and buy enough spare filters so you can easily change them every month.
- Winterize your swamp cooler: Unplug, turn off the water supply valve, open the drain, scour out the pan, change the cooler pads, close the damper and install the wintertime cover. Maintenance prevents rust and keeps cold air from seeping in.
- Winterize your air conditioning unit: Turn off the water valve, drain hoses and pipes.
- Insulate hot water pipes: If a pipe coming from your boiler or water heater is warm to the touch, wrap it with pre-slit foam insulation with built-in adhesive.
- Set ceiling fans to run clockwise. This will push warm air at the ceiling down into the room.
- Install your storm doors and windows. They’ll increase the efficiency of your windows and doors by 45 percent.
- Rooftop and gutter heat tape: Install a heat tape timer, and set it to run the tape for six to eight hours during the day. This schedule uses daytime warmth and heat from the tape to melt ice, while keeping a drainage channel open to prevent ice buildup. Remember to turn off the heat tape once your roof melts out in spring. Rebates available.
- Install a programmable thermostat: Program a standard model to fit your schedule, or invest in a “smart” thermostat that will program itself. Rebates available.
- Upgrade lighting: Replace old incandescent bulbs and fat-tube T-12 fluorescents with LEDs. Rebates available.
- Put electronics on a power strip: Use the simple on-off switch to shut off electronics that otherwise draw power even when they are not on
Invest in winter energy upgrades
Some jobs are better to be done by professionals. Rebates are available for all of these upgrades, and free energy coaching from Garfield Clean Energy can help you make smart choices
- Get an Energy Smart Colorado home energy assessment: $400 value for $100, with $100 worth of free on-the-spot upgrades installed the same day.
- Professional air sealing and insulation: Bar none, the most cost-effective means of making your house cozy and warm in the winter and keeping it cool in the summer.
- Furnace tune-up and safety check, plus testing for leaks in ductwork.
- Upgrade your old furnace or boiler to a high-efficiency model that’s sized properly for your home.
- Install storm doors and replace windows with high-efficiency units.
Get started today
Garfield County residents: Call CLEER at 704-9200 or click here to get started.
Eagle and Pitkin county residents: Call CORE at 925-9775 or visit EnergySmartColorado.org to get started.