Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth.
“Put a sweater on!”…Was that ever your parents response when you told them you were cold? It's only now, as a seasoned homeowner, that I realize they kept the thermostat low so their monthly electric bill would not shock them when it arrived. Keeping those cold drafts from creeping into your home is a challenge this time of year. Let's explore some ways to keep the warmth in, so you don't have to wear 5 sweaters at one time!
About 25% of your heat escapes your home via the roof, so examining your attic or any crawl space is important. If you've had any water leaks or work done to your roof this past year, you should also check to make sure mold is not present in the insulation as well. As time progresses, insulation does settle and becomes less effective, even the foam type can condense as the years go by. A good rule of thumb is to have between 10 and 16 inches of insulation in these spaces. If your assessment comes up short, the do-it-yourself-er can head to the home store and purchase the additional material needed. If you don't feel confident walking around the rafters, see if a friend can recommend a company to assist you.
Did the recent snowfall catch you off guard? Don't worry, there is still time to get your garage prepped and ready before old man winter really comes to town. After you shovel out from this storm, keep up the momentum and make the simple changes listed here so you are ready for the next one.
Prep and Organize
Once you have cleared your cars and any other large items out, give your garage a good sweeping. You'd be shocked at the amount of debris you track in over the summer months. Check the exterior for any holes or areas that critters could come in and find a warm home over the winter. Plug them up so you don't find any chewed cords or items come Spring. Examine windows or doors for air leakage and consider applying some weather stripping to keep those seals tight. This is important if you have a door that connects from the garage to your home to keep those pesky drafts out.
This is a great time to examine the track, springs and mechanics of your garage door opener. Make sure nothing is in the way of the beam that stops the door in case of an emergency. We don't suggest you attempt to fix the springs yourself. The tension on this item is high and accidents can occur in seconds. Seek out a professional if you think an area needs adjusting.
Bundle up! Right now, many of us are taking the necessary steps to prepare for the colder weather ahead. Winter clothes are coming out of storage, heavier blankets are on our beds and hot cocoa packets are at the ready to warm us up. Besides keeping ourselves warm, now is the time to make sure our homes are ready for those blasts of cold air. Let's take a look at your doors and windows and help you make practical fixes to areas that may be letting old man winter in.
Begin by working from the outside in to address areas that may be letting cold air through.
Check the caulk around windows and doors. Over time, caulk can wear and peel away leaving small gaps. As a part of your Fall maintenance, inspect the caulk and replace it or add a new line to repair it.
The North face of your home could benefit from wind blocking features. A decorative fence panel or tall dense shrubs are excellent at deflecting colder air gusts. If changing some landscaping is on the docket for next spring, perhaps consider planting a tree in that area.
Functional shutters for your windows can benefit you all year round. Consider the hardworking Bermuda style, which can protect against the rain and wind in winter and provide shade and allow a cool breeze in summer. The addition of an awning can also assist in deflecting winter gusts.
Moving on to your entryway, let's inspect the following areas of your door for problem spots.
Examine your weather stripping, door sweep and threshold for signs of wear or damage. Your local hardware store can provide new materials, such as foam adhesive strips, that are easily installed and cost effective. Door snakes are another functional, decorative way to block drafts from doors that may not see much use, but still allow a bit of cold air to enter the home, like the basement door.
Most drafts are seen around your windows, but preventing them is easy by trying these simple solutions.
Layering your windows with blinds or shades and then a heavier drape is an effective way to keep rooms warmer. Velvet fabric is a smart choice to use in the winter months. Cotton or linen fabrics with the addition of a lining can also provide an efficient barrier against the wind.
Products like weather stripping and caulk can help create a tight seal between the window and frame. Always inspect and clean the areas to insure a smooth, effective application.
Film insulation kits are easy to use and only require a few additional tools. Kits come with special two- sided tape and a plastic film that covers the window frame creating an airtight seal. This method works well on all shapes and sizes. When winter is over, the plastic film and tape are easy to remove so you can start to enjoy those spring breezes.
If the above solutions have not stopped the drafty areas, then perhaps it's time to consider replacement. Our staff is on hand to discuss door and window options that fit into your budget. We want to help you and your home stay warm this winter season.
Bundle up! That's what you heard from your mom as you walked out of the house every day in winter. She was determined to keep you warm and comfortable as you ventured into the chilly air. The same principle applies to areas of your home. Having sufficient layers can help keep the heat in and make your home more comfy as well. Insulation in your walls and attic is common place, but what about your garage? An insulated garage door can afford you many benefits. Here are a few to consider.
As the humble garage space has evolved over the years it has taken on a multipurpose use. No longer is it just a space to house a car or two, but it has become an extension of your home. Many of us use this area to do woodworking or tinkering on our cars. Some utilize the space as a workout area or a place where your teenagers can play their drums or guitars without deafening the entire household. For these very reasons an insulated door can help maintain heat generated by a portable heater so these activities can be enjoyed all throughout the chillier months.
A warmer space can also mean the difference of your car starting or not. If the temperature outside is 20 degrees, your garage is about 30 degrees. An insulated door increases that temp to around 42 degrees, which gives your vehicle a little extra edge when temperatures are below freezing.
If your garage is attached to your home, you probably have a door that connects to a small mudroom or hallway off your kitchen. Each time that door is opened your home feels the effects of that blast of cold air. Having an insulated garage door can help buffer that cooler air so your home maintains it's temperature.
Does anyone in your home work the early shift? Or perhaps you have a night owl in your midst? Insulated doors are denser and therefore rattle less. That means less disturbance for those of you already asleep. The denser door is also a great sound barrier......those drums that are being practiced on will cause less rift in the neighborhood.
Let's be real, your garage door takes a lot of abuse. Besides the daily opening and closing, it receives the occasional bump of a basketball, catches the falling bicycle and sometimes feels the back bumper of your car. The stronger core of an insulated door adds rigidity to the panels and helps it absorb these impacts better. The less damage done to the door over the years can equate to less repairs and longer duration in general.
A.B.E Doors and Windows carries the Raymor Innovation Series garage doors which offers a polyurethane insulation. Please contact us at 610-398-2430 if we can be of assistance in selecting a garage door for your home.
By now, most of you know that Energy Star ratings are an integral way to gauge the quality of a window's thermal and energy efficiency, and we are proud to provide dozens of models that receive the highest Energy Star ratings. Among these, we are especially proud of our line of ProVia Endure windows, which can be seen here .
Two things that make ProVia Endure especially smart solutions as replacement windows involve obscure, but incredibly important, factors in the estimation of an Energy Star rating, these factors being "air infilitration" and "condensation resistance."
Air infilitration denotes a measurement of how much exterior air flow passes through the window pane, thus decreasing internal temperatures. Factory-tests conducted by ProVia ensure that all their windows exceed the industry standard for this measurement before they are released on the market.
Condenstation resistance denotes the material ability a window has to avoid condensation formation, which is a function of ambient humidity. Just like the case of air infiltration, laboratory tests on condensation resistance are performed on all ProVia windows before they are sold and installed by ABE Doors.
There are many ways to save on energy costs during winter, and purchasing replacement windows, such as ProVia Endure, through ABE Doors is just one way among many. Please call, return to our site, or visit our offices for more helpful tips on saving money during the winter seasons.