WAUKESHA, Wis., Dec. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Each winter homeowners look forward to the joys the holiday season brings, but they also stress over the extra costs associated with Christmas cheer. Combining the cost of the holidays with the cost of keeping homes warm and safe during winter storm season is more than many families' budgets can handle.
"Keeping your family warm and safe doesn't have to break the bank. There are several easy and cost-effective ways homeowners can winterize their homes this holiday season," said Dean Johnson, home improvement expert and Generac partner. "These five easy steps will not only save you money during the holidays when you need it most, but they will also help keep your family and home safe during the long and brutal winter storm season."
Though there are dozens of things homeowners can do to keep their homes safe and their energy bills down this winter, Johnson and Generac recommend the following five to start:
- Top Off Your Attic Insulation—A high percentage of heat loss occurs through the roof because of poor insulation. Make sure your attic is insulated with the minimum R-value for your climate (up to R-49 for northern). Also, check the rim joist areas above the foundation walls in the basement and plug any gaps with fiberglass insulation.
- Dial Down the Thermostat—Tried and true, because most people can live comfortably with a lower temperature around 68 degrees. Setting it lower than that when you're away or asleep will also save on energy. Consider purchasing a programmable thermostat that will lower the temperature automatically during off-peak times.
- Replace or Insulate Drafty Windows—You can literally hear your money flying out the window when a winter wind blows on old windows. Consider replacing old windows with energy-efficient ones. Another option is to put up window insulating kits. The clear plastic film can increase coziness by reducing drafts, saving energy and avoiding the costs of window replacement.
- Fill Gaps with Caulks and Sealants—Replace old caulk joints around your window and door trim (both inside and outside) that can shrink and leak energy over time. Use a spray foam sealant to fill in the gaps left around pipes, wires, TV cables or bath and dryer vents penetrating your foundation or siding.
- Get an Energy Audit—Most local utilities can help you arrange a home energy audit to pinpoint where to focus your winterizing efforts. One essential tool is a thermal-imaging camera, which uses infrared technology to show where heat is escaping the house. In many areas the cameras are available to rent, so try one out before winterizing to know exactly what needs to be done to lower your heating bill.
"Because power outages are also a concern during winter storm season, we recommend investing in an automatic home standby generator, like those from Generac, that automatically provide power for heat and electricity when there is a power outage," Johnson said. "They turn on as soon as the power goes out and stay on until utility power is restored. That means homeowners won't lose money on holiday food costs if the refrigerator won't work during a power outage. And homeowners can still work remotely over the holidays to stay productive, even when the power is out, plus families won't have to relocate to a hotel to stay warm during a very expensive time of year to book a room."
For additional tips and insight on how to save money while still staying safe this winter, Dean and Generac preparedness experts are available for interviews. Local Generac dealers across the country are also available to talk about how generators can help homeowners and business owners be prepared for the long winter.
Additional information on winter weather preparedness is available at: http://www.generac.com/be-prepared/prepare-for-high-winter-storms.
Since 1959, Generac has been a leading designer and manufacturer of a wide range of generators and other engine-powered products. As a leader in power equipment serving residential, light commercial, industrial and construction markets, Generac's products are available through a broad network of independent dealers, retailers, wholesalers and equipment rental companies. The company markets and distributes its products primarily under its Generac and Magnum brand names. Generac is committed to developing a long-term vision that promotes environmentally responsible products, processes and partnerships and strives to be a positive contributor of sustainable growth in the power equipment industry. For more information on Generac, please visit http://www.Generac.com. Follow Generac on Twitter @generacpowersys. Become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/generacpowersystems. For more information on Magnum, please visit http://www.m-p-llc.com.
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